Camellia (Camellia sasanqua)

Thea sasanqua.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Camellia sasanqua

A non-drying oil is obtained from the seed – used as a hair-dressing and textile oil[46, 61, 171, 177].

A green dye is obtained from the pink or red petals[168].

A decoction of the plant (could this refer to the oil in the seed??) is used as a soap substitute for washing oily clothes[178].

Plants can be used as a hedge. The cultivar ‘Onigoromo’ has been especially mentioned for this purpose[188].

  • Medicinal Use

    Demulcent, expectorant[178].

  • Edible Use

    The oil obtained from the seed is edible if it is refined[46, 105, 142, 183]. It is said to be equal in quality to olive oil[2].

    The leaves are mixed with tea to give it a pleasant aroma[2, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[113]. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water and the hard covering around the micropyle should be filed down to leave a thin covering[78, 113, 138]. It usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 23¡c[138]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall and give them some protection from winter cold for their first year or three outdoors[K]. Cuttings of almost ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, August/September in a shaded frame. A high percentage take, but they are slow to root[78]. Cuttings of firm wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, end of June in a frame[11, 78]. Keep in a cool greenhouse for the first year[11]. Leaf-bud cuttings, July/August in a frame.
Prefers a woodland soil but thrives in a warm open well-drained loam if leafmould is added[1, 11, 200]. A calcifuge plant, preferring a pH between 5 and 7[11, 200]. Dislikes cold winds[11]. Prefers the partial shade of a light woodland[200], growing well in a woodland clearing[166]. Many cultivars tolerate full sun, in fact one report says that the species flowers better in a sunny position[182] and another that the plant prefers a hot sunny position[188]. Plants are hardy to about -10¡c[184]. Another report says that this species is very cold hardy if it is sheltered from cold winds[11]. Prefers a wet summer and a cool but not very frosty dry winter[200]. Another report says that the plant requires hot summers if it is to do well[260]. Plants are not very self-compatible, self-fertilized flowers produce few seeds and these are of low viability[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is closely allied to C. oleifera[11]. The cultivar ‘Narumi-gata’ (which is sometimes mistakenly called C. oleifera) is a very reliable shrub in Britain[11]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted out into their final positions whilst still young. This species is cultivated in Asia for the oil in its seed, there are many named varieties mostly developed for their ornamental value[182]. The flowers have a delicate sweet perfume[245].
E. Asia – Southern Japan in Kyushu and the Islands southwards.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.