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PlantFiles: Common Camellia, Japanese Camellia
Camellia japonica 'Tom Knudsen'

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Camellia (kuh-MEE-lee-a) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Tom Knudsen

» View all varieties of Camellias

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

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

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By Moonglow
Thumbnail #1 of Camellia japonica by Moonglow

By wallaby1
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By Bectile
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral vossner On Jan 27, 2015, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Has been a skimpy bloomer for me plus I think it has scale, as has lots if yellow foliage. It may be planted in a place that gets more water than it requires. I won't take out in the hopes it recovers but if I lose
It, I won't replace.

Positive suentommy On Jul 21, 2013, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted two of these camellias out back behind our family room windows. They were only a foot or so tall when I planted them but they have more than doubled in size this year. The foliage is really dark and contrasts nicely with the red flowers. The flowers take two forms - some are formal double and others are a loose semi - double all on the same plant. They both set lots of buds but only half of them bloomed for me. The rest fell off. there were still plenty of flowers. I can't wait until they get bigger.

Positive cnswift On Apr 9, 2006, cnswift from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

My camellias seem to be at odds with the profile. I'm in zone 10b and I have them in full sun. They seem to like the conditions just fine and are wonderful bloomers. I use a little Osmocote to make their soil acid. This seemed to make a big difference with blooming.

Positive wallaby1 On Nov 27, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

The deepest scarlet red I have seen in a camellia. Said to be quite difficult to propagate. It is a robust grower, but tends to be more upright and may take some time to 'fill out'. The leaves are very attractive--quite large, a deep, glossy green. I bought this shrub as a young plant from Trehane Nursery, UK, in January 1999. It is now around 6 feet tall.

It hasn't flowered every year well, but did suffer in early years from an infestation of scale insect, which if you are not familiar with can spread rapidly and cause the plant some distress, but is not fatal. I now have to keep a regular watch for scale insect. They attach themselves mostly to the lower midrib at back of the leaf, next to its stem. They are master camouflagers, and can be found on stems and around the joint between new and old growth. They leave a sticky excrement which will be found on leaves under it, and this can grow a black sooty mould--not damaging but unsightly. Scales can be found almost at any time of the year. They will hatch out under the leaves and seemingly turn into a long white streak of eggs. Regular inspection and 'squashing' is advisable.

Bred in the U.S.A. 1965 Maitland, it is a japonica cultivar. Flowers medium to large paeony form, season mid to late.

Positive Moonglow On Mar 8, 2005, Moonglow from Corte Madera, CA wrote:

Flowers make a dazzling contrast with the glossy, dark green foliage. Another favorite in my garden!

Low-maintenance plant in my zone.


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

Bonita, California
San Diego, California
Douglas, Georgia
Coushatta, Louisiana
Morehead City, North Carolina
Cheshire, Oregon
West Linn, Oregon
Souderton, Pennsylvania
Humble, Texas
Richmond, Texas (2 reports)
Falls Church, Virginia

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