With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there is never a better time to look at the romantic history of the Tree of Love and Devotion, the beautiful Camellia.
Being one of the most popular winter and spring flowering shrubs, it provides a gorgeous splash of colour when little else is in bloom. Camellias prefer a well-drained, yet moisture-retentive, acidic soil rich in organic matter, so will thrive in most UK gardens.
The gorgeous Camellias originate from eastern and southern Asia, ranging from the Himalayas to Japan and Indonesia. They were grown and developed for centuries before they made it to Europe.
German botanist, Engelbert Kaempfer described Camellias as the ‘Japanese Rose’ that grew beautifully in hedges and in the wild. He reported that only the best varieties were chosen to feature in gardens.
With its glossy leaves all year round and beautiful flowers which blossom with a gorgeous fragrance, it is not only loved by people, but by the bees and butterflies too.
In Mythology the Camellia symbolises love and devotion and the beauty of the flower has been treasured by couples for centuries.The Chinese believe that the petals reflect the spirit and beauty of a woman. Uniquely, the male and female parts of the Camellia flower are inseparable, even when it wilts, which symbolises an eternal, everlasting love.
Have a look at the Camellia's beautiful blossom here.