Camellia Sinensis: The Tea Plant

HomePlantsFlowersCamellia Sinensis: The Tea Plant



Camellia sinensis, the plant behind the world’s most consumed beverage—tea, is an evergreen shrub that has shaped cultures, economies, and traditions across the globe. This versatile plant is not only central to the production of black, green, oolong, and white teas but also plays a significant role in traditional medicine and modern health research.

Botanical Name
Camellia sinensis
Plant Type
Evergreen shrub or small tree
Usually trimmed to below 2 meters when cultivated
Leaves are 4–15 cm long and 2–5 cm broad
Tropical and subtropical regions
Sun Exposure
Varies, but generally prefers partial shade
Soil Requirements
Acidic, well-drained soil
Hardiness Zones
Varies with cultivar, generally zones 7-9
Flower Color
Foliage Color
Season Features
Evergreen with seasonal flowering
Special Features
Source of various types of tea
  • The plant has a strong taproot with flowers that are 2.5–4 cm in diameter, featuring seven or eight petals.
  • Its leaves are 4-15 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, containing about 4% caffeine.
  • Propagation is typically through cuttings or seeds to maintain the characteristics of the cultivars.
  • The leaves, leaf buds, and stems are used to produce different varieties of tea, each undergoing varying levels of oxidation to achieve distinct flavors and properties.
  • Common issues include pests like aphids and diseases such as tea blight and root rot.
  • Native to East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Southeast Asia, Camellia sinensis has been cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions.
  • This species is not known for being toxic, making it a safe choice for gardens.


What types of tea can be produced from Camellia Sinensis?

Black, green, oolong and white teas are all derived from this plant.

How is Camellia sinensis cultivated?

It is usually trimmed to below 2 meters and requires acidic, well-drained soil.

What are the health benefits associated with Camellia Sinensis?

The plant’s leaves contain antioxidants and have been linked to various health benefits, including heart health and stress reduction.

Can Camellia sinensis be grown at home?

Yes, with the right climate conditions and care, it can be grown as a garden plant.

What are the main challenges in growing Camellia Sinensis?

Environmental stressors, pests, and diseases can affect the health and yield of the plant.

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