Report – 2013

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford joins Camellia Ark

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens at Daylesford has become the first Victorian public garden to join in the Ark project. This historic garden, designed by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller during the mid 19th century, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. It already features a small collection of camellia species. Involvement came at the request of Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens:

Camellia Ark would like to know if anyone in Camellias Victoria would like to become involved in this aspect of the project, including selection and plantings of rare camellias.

First Release of Camellias to Subscribers

The first release of Camellia Ark stock to subscribers took place during the first three months of 2013, with 90% of stock available being purchased. Stock taken up by subscribers this year, include the following:

  • An unknown camellia species/hybrid collected from a restaurant near Chuxiong, Yunnan, China, (red elegans form);
  • Rare or disappearing Camellia japonicas, including ‘Imperial Splendour’

    C.japonica 'Imperial Splendour'

    C.japonica ‘Imperial Splendour’

  • ‘Eighteen Scholars’, ‘Tricolor’ (Siebold), ‘Frizzle White’ and the Higos ‘Hiodoshi’ and ‘Hinomaru’;
  • Hybrids, ‘Olé’, ‘Charlean Variegated’ and ‘Hong Kong’; and
  • Species, including Camellia edithae, gauchowensis, hongkongensis, forrestii, wild saluenensis and reticulata specimens, and an unknown wild species collected from the Salween Valley by Bob Cherry.

There will be another release of rare camellias in May 2014.

Subscriptions exceed $4000

Over $4250 in subscriptions and donations have now been received from associations and individuals across Australia, covering most of the cost of the project to the E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens.

Rare Species – Advanced Stock

Included among the 70 or so rare camellias under propagation are a range of advanced stock species which will be used for future propagation purposes. These include Camellia gauchowensis, edithae, hongkongensis, euphlebia, pingguoensis, forrestii, polyodonta, lapidea, azalea, a different form of C. nitidissima, two wild unidentified Chinese species, one wild saluenensis, and one wild reticulata. There is a range of other species in smaller sizes still under cultivation.

Rare Higos

Three of the rarest Higos in Australia have been cultivated including Myojo, Hinomaru and Hiodoshi. More Hiodoshi may be released to subscribers in 2014. Fuji-no-yuki has been established in the Ark, and a specimen of Osaraku acquired from Willow Park Nursery in Canberra. We are seeking information about O-aso which may have been introduced into Victoria. Trevor Nottle donated scions of Nioi-fubuki.

Rare Reticulatas and Camellias Illawarra

Much thanks to Camellias Illawarra for (initial) successful grafts of Eden Roc, Tongzimian, Rolling Butterfly Wing (Juanbandichi) and Chuxiong Gold. More rare reticulatas will be trial grafted in 2013.

Rare Sasanquas

A range of rare sasanquas have been collected from the E.G. Waterhouse National Camellia Gardens for cultivation. First successes include ‘Briar Rose’, ‘Pygmy’, and ‘Mikuniko’.

Stephen Utick
Co-ordinator, Camellia Ark Project – May 2013