Idents needed

I intend to put in this section the various varieties growing at Mount Edcgumbe for which I don’t know the identity. In most cases they have, or had, a label, but the description or descriptions I have found for that name don’t match the plant itself. I will try to get enough information together for each one to make it possible to identify them accurately, a process that will take time. If you think you know what something is, but need further information to confirm it, please let me know. In general, an identification based only on the flowers is all but useless and needs to be corroborated by foliage details, growth habit, flowering time and so on to be at all reliable.

I have been doing this a lot time, it is not remotely easy. Far too many almost identical varieties have been registered for that. Camellias vary by an almost unbelievable amount depending on growing conditions, especially in the flowers. They are very long lived and outlast every labelling system and eventually every gardener, so there are huge numbers of superb plants growing in gardens around the world with no name attached to them, literally or figuratively. People guess at their names, or remember inaccurately, or make them up. Mistakes are made, and even if few and far between, accumulate and acquire weight with longevity, especially if growing in reputable gardens.

A suggested name will likely be very hard or impossible to verify but it is a starting point. I will be setting the bar high in terms of how convinced I need to be before relabelling a plant. I don’t want to compound a problem by adding another uncertain name to the one I already have.

In the relatively cool climate of the UK it is often the case that the sexual parts of the flowers do not develop normally, especially the stamens. Thus blooms that have a full compliment of stamens in many parts of the world form petaloids or even complete petals instead. A variety that is rose form or fully double elsewhere may become a formal double, completely lacking stamens, in our climate. By no means is it always the case, or even the norm, but it happens frequently.