John Wang – a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

John Wang – a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

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:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area


This camellia hybrid, created by John Wang, is a seedling of Tama-no-ura:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

Another seedling from John Wang has a rare yellow tint:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

John grows most of his camellias in plastic containers. He constructed an elaborate shading structure using PVC pipes and shade cloth:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

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 Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

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.

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

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?

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

More pictures:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

An unidentified red camellia from the garden of John Wang:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

An unidentified camellia from the garden of John Wang:

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

Wild Camellia yuhsienensis Hu (攸县油茶) from the garden of John Wang.

John Wang   a camellia hybridizer living in San Francisco Bay Area

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).

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