On January 25, 2009 I visited a well known camellia hybridizer John Wang, a Chinese American living in San Francisco Bay Area.
John Wang places camellias inside the house to hand pollinate them. Room temperature increases the chance of success and no insects can interfere. John does not believe in open pollination of camellias – he chooses parents very carefully because he cannot afford to plant thousands of chance seedlings like for example Nuccio’s Nurseries does:
This camellia hybrid, created by John Wang, is a seedling of Tama-no-ura:
Another seedling from John Wang has a rare yellow tint:
John grows most of his camellias in plastic containers. He constructed an elaborate shading structure using PVC pipes and shade cloth:
John uses fish tanks to grow camellia seedlings. Under room temperature, high humidity and the absence of wind, the seedlings germinate and grow very fast:
John quickly grafts all his seedlings. This significantly reduces time needed to evaluate the seedlings. Without grafting a seedling typically starts to bloom after 4-6 years, sometimes 15 years or more. Grafted seedling may start to bloom in a couple of years.
A small-leaved Camellia species from the garden of John Wang. Neither John nor I can recognize this species. I suspect it is related to C. lutchuensis or even possible C. sinensis. Anybody has any idea?
An unidentified red camellia from the garden of John Wang:
An unidentified camellia from the garden of John Wang:
Wild Camellia yuhsienensis Hu (攸县油茶) from the garden of John Wang.
See also an article about Camellia hybridization written by John Wang: http://www.jhnews.com.cn/gb/content/2003-03/02/content_158713.htm
More information about camellias – http://sazanka.org (This site specializes in Fall flowering camellias).