Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Camellia, Hybrid Camellia
Camellia 'High Fragrance'

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Camellia (kuh-MEE-lee-a) (Info)
Cultivar: High Fragrance
Hybridized by Finlay; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1986

» View all varieties of Camellias

2 vendors have this plant for sale.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for cutting
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 10 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive peep1 On Dec 18, 2012, peep1 from Newton, MA wrote:

I was given a small plant (less than 12 inches) last year. It immediately began to send out new leaves. I was rewarded with 3 flower buds this December. The first flower is strongly scented, about 3 inches in diameter pale pink and appears to be a full double peony type bloom. I can't wait for it to get bigger and have a bigger display. I grow it in a south east facing heated greenhouse in Massachusetts. It is potted in clay. Daytime temperatures are about 70 degrees, night time goes to about 45.

Positive violabird On Jan 18, 2009, violabird from Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Personal notes:

I have tried to research this cultivar as thoroughly as possible, but all details were not found, such as height, hardiness, and growing conditions . I have obtained 2 specimans, one from the ACS at Massey Lane Gardens in Ft. Valley, GA, the other a gift from a friend, from I had read that the fragrance is not detectible until 24 hours of bloom and have found this to be correct. The scent is soft and beautiful reminiscent to me as jasmine-like from my first bloom. This first bloom occurred on January 17, 2009.

Exert of article from the American Camellia Society under 'Education':

Fragrant Camellias
by William L. Ackerman

..." However, work on floral fragrance continued with J. Finley of Whangerei, New Zealand, who began breeding scented camellias in 1970 and has continued through to the present. Crossing C.lutchuensis with C. japonica ‘Tiffany’, he had his first bloom six years later, which was named ‘Scentuous’. A good example of persistence was Finlay’s breeding through three generations of scented cultivars and hybrids to produce ‘Sweet Emma’. It took twenty-two years, but Finlay declared it well worth the time and effort. Overall, Finlay has made many thousands of controlled crosses and registered more than fifty-five fragrant cultivar introductions. Two examples are ‘High Fragrance’, and ‘Nice Fragrance.’ In this regard, he has more fragrant-flowered camellia introductions to his credit than anyone."
Notes from ACS as follows:

Species: hybrid non reticulata
Variety: High Fragrance
Bloom type: Peony form
Bloom color: ivory pink with deeper pink to edges
Bloom size: medium
Bloom season: middle
Growth habit: open growth
Growth rate: vigorous
Hardiness Zone: 8
Originator: James Findlay
Year originated: 1986
Place of Origination: Whangarei, NZ
Pollen Parent: hybrid "Scentuous"
Seed Parent: jap. "Mrs. Beth A. Hamas"
Other notes found upon internet research:

(Old Camellia Forrest review)
‘High Fragrance’ (zone 7B) - The genetic material contains only one eighth C. lutchuenesis but the flowers do have a strong pleasant fragrance. Nice peony form flowers are pale pink and bloom in March and April. The plant is a rapid grower with an open habit and light green leaves. (C. japonica ‘Mrs. Bertha Harms’ × [‘Salab’ × ‘Scentuous’])
(unidentified author comments)

..."Regarding it's fragrance, let me just say WOW. The fragrance is reminscent of sweet peas - sweet and strong - and it is the most fragrant camellia that I personally have had the pleasure...of sniffing..."


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Altadena, California
Barnesville, Georgia
Coushatta, Louisiana
Lynnwood, Washington

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