Area 1P – American – Betteley Collection


Area 1P – Notes

Peter Betteley was a camellia enthusiast living in Kent and maintaining a large collection of camellias in pots as his garden soil was alkaline. When he died his collection was donated to the National Collection at Mt Edgcumbe. They have been distributed to various sections of the collection as appropriate but the largest group are in Area 1P. Some new additions were made in 2016, from a different source.

Betteley had evidently been raising plants both from seeds and grafting and as is typical in a private collection, some of the details were kept only in his head. Thus ‘Peter Betteley’ (1P-039 & 1P-040), ‘Mrs Bertha Harmes’ (1P-034) and ‘Spring Sonnet’ (1P-050) all present problems which may never be resolved.

‘Grand Sultan’ (1P-026) appears to have been grafted onto ‘Gwavas’, a rootstock used elsewhere by Peter Betteley. The stock had grown taller than the scion variety and has now been removed (spring 2017). The plant had two labels, one saying ‘Mathotiana‘ and the other, and older, saying ‘Grand Sultan, Tregrehan’, suggesting that Betteley had obtained material from Tregrehan garden which he’d grafted onto Gwavas. See blog of 9/5/2017.

‘Eleanor Martin’ (1P-010) and ‘Miss Charleston’ (1P-033) both have blooms with typical white fuzzy virus variegation. This would appear to make them ‘Eleanor Martin Supreme’ and ‘Miss Charleston Variegated’.

‘Julia Hamiter’ (1P-018) is now dead, as of 2017.

‘Kitty’ (1P-020) is described in the Register as white with a pink border, formal double; on the strength of which  I had strong doubts about the plant that bears that name here. This year the blooms are a much better match for the description.

‘Mrs Bertha Harms’ (1P-034) and ‘Spring Sonnet’ (1P-050) appear very similar to each other in flower and foliage. Both are wrong, the former should be ivory white and more double, as at 1C-014; the latter pale pink with deeper pink margin, as it is in the correctly labelled plant at 1E-040. It may be that they are two plants of another unidentified variety that Betteley used as a stock for grafting, the scions having failed.

‘Mary J. Wheeler’ (1P-025) could be correct but looks exactly like ‘R. L. Wheeler’. The register description is not detailed enough to make it clear either way.

‘Peter Betteley’ (1P-039 & 1P-040) is a variety raised from seed by Mr Peter Betteley and registered by Mount Edgcumbe. The parentage is said to be ‘Bokuhan’ x ‘Scented Sun’. The problem is that the two plants here are sister seedlings, very similar but not identical; the name can only be validly applied to one of them.

‘Sierra Spring’ (1P-045) is a virus variegated form of ‘Madame Hahn’ and this may be correct in that virus variegation didn’t seem to show as strongly this year as it usually does. The very few blooms I have seen on this bush so far have lacked any obvious variegation.

‘Tama Beauty’ (1P-052), as a seedling of ‘Tama-no-ura’, would be expected to have a white margin to its petals. I have seen no sign of one so far on this plant but am certainly not going to say this is wrong yet. It seems that the white margin is more pronounced in warmer climates so perhaps what we need is a very warm spring.
Update March 2019; I have a young plant taken as a cutting from this plant which has produced flowers with a paler margin and with stamens mixed with petaloids at the centre. It is growing in a polytunnel, conditions which seem to have produced blooms closer to descriptions and pictures I have seen.

‘Valentine Day’ (1P-057) was presumably a graft onto ‘Gwavas’, which Betteley used as a stock. This plant is all ‘Gwavas’.

‘Valentine Day’ (1P-059) consisted mostly of stock, which has now (2018) been removed. What remains is not in great shape.