13 responses to “Camellia japonica ‘Okan’”

  1. Denis Dooley

    A really fine camellia and one one of my favorites. It’s one of the few varieties with single blooms to do well at shows. There is an entirely separate international society devoted to the Higo camellia. The American Camellia Society recently recognized Higo as a distinct form from other single blooms.

    I am a camellia collector and go out of my way to collect Higos. I have attempted to get my hands on as many as possible. They really stand apart from other Camellia. By the way, if anyone has ‘Fuji’ in the US, please let me know, I’d be happy to trade scions.

    One of the best Higo gardens in the world is in actually in Italy, not Japan, at the estate of a retired pharmacist. His website devoted to Higos is at http://www.higocamellia.it/. Well worth checking out.

    If anyone happens to be in the Portland, Oregon area the first weekend of April, the American Camellia Society will be holding its annual convention in conjunction with the Oregon Camellia Society’s annual floral show in Newberg, Oregon.

  2. Paula

    What zones will this camelia thrive in?

    1. Denis


      Camellia japonica (which includes Higos) generally are safe in Zone 7 and above. The larger flowered C. reticulata, with exceptions, needs at least Zone 9. Many of the C x reticulata hybrids with C. japonica are good to Zone 7.

      Dr. Ackerman of the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. created a number of hybrids with C. oleifera (the source of commercial camellia oil used in cosmetics) that are hardy to Zone 6, as are two C. japonica cultivars with Korean provenance, collected by Barry Yinger of Asiata Nursery fame in the 1980s. C. ‘Korean Fire’ and C. ‘Korean Snow’ are both available from Camellia Forest nursery and I think Korean Fire is distributed by Monrovia. The Ackerman hybrids generally contain the name “April” (e.g. C. ‘April Kiss’) or “Snow” (e.g. C. ‘Winter’s Snowman’). I would still consider these suspect in Zone 6 if your area has extended periods of cold, windy weather with very low humidity.

  3. L.

    It´s a wonderful joy to receive your posts again! Thanks to all the team for this amazing work!

  4. Janeal Thompson


    Thank you for your contributions–the descriptions are informative and the photos are wonderful.

  5. Gregory Palermo

    Your discussion of the plant’s cultural associations is a wonderful addition to the botanical information. Extremely interesting piece. Thank you.

  6. Wendy Cutler

    I found that comparison with C. japonica ‘Ashiya’ useful in understanding the “free stamens”, but there is a currently unfixable bug that prevents the link from displaying. If you right click and select Open in new tab (or window), you can get to the photo.

    1. Elsa Efran

      Thanks for this tip about how to view the other photo.

  7. Rosemarie Parker

    Daniel, the comments are not showing, and the link (from February listings) to comments does not work. Just FYI. Not really a comment – although I loved the photo so much I was interested in what others would say.

    1. Rosemarie Parker

      Of course, just by posting a comment, the problem fixes itself. Fascinating and frustrating. Sorry for the extraneous post; I was just trying to reach Daniel.

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