Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An odd crop: Camellia fruit

A swelling, walnut sized fruit in my Camellia japonica.
This autumn, the branches of my double pink Camellia japonica are filled with swelling fruit, up to the size of a large walnut. The youngest ones are glossy green-pink, but as they mature, the shells of the fruit get a matte brown coating that makes them look like doll-sized quinces.
I can't remember that I've ever seen a Camellia fruit before. I don't know if I've only been negligent or if producing fruit, especially in prolific amounts, is a rare occurrence in the life of Camellias. In that case, maybe a bountiful crop of Camellia fruit has a special meaning in its countries of origin, the way plentiful rowan berries are said to predict harsh winters in Scandinavia... I would love to know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi-- It sounds like you do not "deadhead" your camellia flowers. Deadheading, removal of spent blooms, promotes reblooming and health plant growth. When the flowers are not removed, the bush (just like roses) will form seed pods (hips or fruit). The plant spend a lot of energy on creating these fruit, which might be desired in the wild for reproduction purpose. However, in the garden it is better to removed the dead flowers and prevent the formation of seed pods. This will assure that the plant uses its growth energy to make new foliage and set fresh blooms the next season. Taffy, in CA