At last! Camellia sasanqua 'Marti' blooming
I've waited 3 years for this Camellia to bloom. It barely survived the first year when planted in a more exposed place in the yard. Unfortunately 2 other Camellias bought at the same time did not make it. I guess the cold was too much even if one was in a sheltered place. The dieback was very bad. The sasanqua Camellias are only hardy to zone 7 not the zone 9 I previously mentioned so the two that I have, a japonica and sas. are barely hanging on in the most sheltered place in the yard next to the dryer vent. The japonica being the hardier.
It's difficult to tell from the photo if the 'Marti' is a semi-double but I'll have to see when it's fully opened. Sasanquas apparently are usually single petalled so a semi would be unusual. I was hoping for a white as our japonica is also a dark pink but 'Marti' looks as if it will be beautiful so I'm quite pleased. The flower is smaller than the japonica at about "2 in diameter. I haven't seen any photos of 'Marti' doing a Google search so I don't know if it is rare but....as there are over 3000 cultivars I guess even the web can't have pictures of them all?
The Japanese call the sasanqua 'sazanka' and don't consider it to be a true camellia, as opposed to the japonica, 'tsubaki'. Here's more information about C. sasanqua.