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 the 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.

There are a number of anomalies in this area to resolve, at least one of which presents a particularly interesting challenge. I refer to 1P-026 Camellia japonica ‘Mathotiana’. Or at least that’s what the label says. The first problem is that there are two different plants growing together. It could conceivably be that one had been the rootstock for the other though it doesn’t seem likely. Neither is in fact ‘Mathotiana’. There is another label of a more primitive type on one bush saying “Grand Sultan, Tregrehan” making it very likely that the deep red formal double is ‘Grand Sultan’. The other variety I am much less sure of. (Update – see ‘Mathotiana’ below)

‘Eleanor Martin’ and ‘Miss Charleston’ both have blooms with typical white fuzzy virus variegation. This would appear to make them ‘Eleanor Martin Supreme’ and ‘Miss Charleston Variegated’.

‘Julia Hamiter’ is now dead, as of 2017.

‘Kitty’ 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’ and ‘Spring Sonnet’ appear very similar to each other in flower; I haven’t compared their 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.

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

‘Mathotiana’ was actually ‘Grand Sultan’ grafted onto ‘Gwavas’. The rootstock variety had grown taller than the scion but has now been removed (spring 2017). It will be relabelled in due course. See blog of 9/5/2017.

‘Peter Betteley’ is a variety raised from seed by Mr Peter Betteley. 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’ 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’, 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 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.