Camellia Sasanqua: An Ornamental Shrub with Practical Virtues

HomePlantsFlowersCamellia Sasanqua: An Ornamental Shrub with Practical Virtues



Camellia sasanqua, commonly known as sasanqua camellia, is a species native to the coastal regions of southern Japan. This evergreen shrub is part of the Theaceae family and is celebrated for its glossy green foliage and fragrant flowers that range from white to deep pink.

Botanical Name
Camellia sasanqua
Plant Type
Evergreen shrub
Up to 5 meters (16 feet)
Broad elliptic leaves, finely serrated margins
Prefers temperate climates
Sun Exposure
Partial shade to full sun
Soil Requirements
Well-drained, humus-rich soil
Hardiness Zones
USDA zones 7 to 9
Flower Color
White to dark pink
Foliage Color
Glossy green
Season Features
Early blooming, typically from fall to mid-winter
There are no known toxicity issues associated with Camellia sasanqua, making it a safe choice for gardens.
  • Cultivars like ‘Crimson King’, ‘Hugh Evans’, and ‘Jean May’ have received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
  • The plant grows to a height of 5 meters with leaves that are broad elliptic, 3–7 cm long, and 1.2–3 cm broad.
  • The flowers are 5–7 cm in diameter with 5–8 petals, single or semi-double, and a prominent cluster of yellow stamens at the center.
  • Its dense, upright growth habit, with dark green leaves arranged alternately along the stems.
  • Propagation is typically done through cuttings or seeds to maintain the desired cultivar characteristics.
  • Beyond its ornamental value, the leaves of Camellia sasanqua are used to make tea, and the seeds yield tea seed oil, which has various applications including lighting, lubrication, cooking, and cosmetics.
  • Often used as a specimen plant, hedge, or espalier, adding beauty and elegance to landscapes.
  • Generally robust but can be susceptible to pests like aphids and diseases such as camellia blight.
  • Camellia sasanqua thrives up to an altitude of 900 meters and has been introduced to various regions including Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.


When is the best time to plant Camellia Sasanqua?

Camellia Sasanqua is best planted in fall or early spring when temperatures are mild.

How often should Camellia Sasanqua be watered?

Water Camellia Sasanqua regularly, especially during dry spells, but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

Does Camellia Sasanqua require pruning?

Prune Camellia Sasanqua lightly after flowering to maintain shape and encourage new growth.

Can Camellia Sasanqua tolerate full sun?

While Camellia Sasanqua prefers partial shade, it can tolerate full sun in cooler climates or with adequate moisture.

Are the flowers of Camellia Sasanqua fragrant?

Yes, many cultivars of Camellia Sasanqua produce fragrant flowers, adding to their allure in the garden.

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