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Rare beauty



QUESTION

You mentioned a rare camellia on 2GB recently called ‘Maiden’, can you tell me more about it please?

Dorothy B, St Ives, NSW


ANSWER

It is called Camellia japonica ‘Dainty Maiden’, created by the Father of Australian Camellias, Prof. Eben Gowrie Waterhouse OBE CMG while living at ‘Eryldene’ in Gordon in 1952. It is a seedling from C. japonica ‘Suibijin’ , a camellia of confused description globally. ‘Dainty Maiden’ is also often described incorrectly but our plant obtained by the previous owner of our home, Mrs. Hanran, directly from Prof. Waterhouse circa 1952, is of weeping habit, growing up to 3m and weeping down to 3.5m. The flowers are 9-10cm across, semi- double to informal double shape and a delicate, unique colour of rhodamine or magenta-pink, which displays a distinct fluorescence or luminous sheen. I truly love the flower and have been Rare beauty grafting it onto a 3m tall C . sasanqua for five years and have four ‘taken’ grafted stems forming a magnificent weeping standard. This variety is sadly no longer sold commercially but Honeysuckle Nursery at Turramurra and Mosman, are now propagating it for future release.

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