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Common Camellia, Japanese Camellia 'Debutante'

Camellia japonica

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Camellia (kuh-MEE-lee-a) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Debutante
Hybridized by Gerbing's Azalea Nursery
Registered or introduced: early 1900's
» View all varieties of Camellias




10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 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:


Bloom Time:

Late Fall/Early Winter

Mid Winter



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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


Birmingham, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Capistrano Beach, California

Fallbrook, California

La Jolla, California

La Verne, California

Lake San Marcos, California

Los Altos, California

Moreno Valley, California

Sacramento, California

San Clemente, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Bokeelia, Florida

Navarre, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Crownsville, Maryland

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Morehead City, North Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Center, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Waco, Texas

Arlington, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 26, 2015, gingie from Waco, TX wrote:

Our Debutante has lived in a large pot in our oak-shaded back yard for 15 years here in central Texas. It gets very little attention, no special watering or fertilizer or protection from freeze. Some years it doesn't bloom, some years buds freeze, but some years, as it is right now, it gives us many beautiful, perfect blossoms.


On Jul 30, 2012, RichnSD from Lake San Marcos, CA wrote:

I had two, now one. I'd rate this a very good camellia variety.


On Jan 18, 2011, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I saw this in full bloom on a recent trip to Atlanta. They have several of them in Stone Mountain park over by the Mill... the flowers are almost as big as my hand! It kind of looked like three flowers smooshed into one! WOW! It's very pretty! Anyway, I am sure they aren't maintained very well at Stone Mountain and they were blooming like crazy! I can't wait to get one! I wish I could find it at my local Garden store... unfortunately I never see them in S. Florida. Bummer.


On Apr 13, 2010, cmegarden4u from Yulee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had this camellia for 3yrs. now. It bloomed pretty good the first fall/spring it was planted. The blooms are awesome. I am dealing with whitefly right now after I noticed it didn't bloom this year. The folige looks good and it's growing fast. It would probably appreciate some compost from me now and then. Overall I love this camellia. I really feel that I've somewhat neglected it.


On Mar 11, 2006, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

Originated at Magnolia Gardens, Charleston, SC in the early 1900's.

Of all my camellias, this is my favorite. I love the clear pink color and the full bloom that reminds me of a large carnation. Mine is growing rather fast. It seems to withstand direct sun better than some. Mine is in direct to near direct sun for atleast 1/2 of the day (in SE, Zone 8b) and does not burn. However, it seems overly sensitive to low temps. Mine blooms in Jan/Feb and despite our very moderate temps, a few cold night (low 30's) almost always spoil the beauty of the blooms by turning the edges brown. Mine blooms over a long period; this year it started on Jan 8 and still has a few blooms.