We have all experienced plant envy in our lives as gardeners. There is always an amazing plant I see when traveling that I want so badly but know won’t work in my zone. Finally some help. Bill Ackerman from the National Arboretum and Clifford Parks from North Carolina have been working to create Camellias that will work in colder climates than the traditional warmer zones that they thrived in. They have come up with some wonderful cultivars. I have just planted C. oleifera ‘Snow Flurry’ in my trial gardens at my office and am amazed at the mass of blooms I am getting in the middle of November when little else is showing off. This is just one of many of the cultivars that have been introduced. See below for some of the other cold hardy cultivars that are available.
‘Frost Prince’ – cold hardy to -20 C. The flowers are 10 cm in diameter with profuse deep pink blooms. Blooms mid to late autumn.
‘Winter Star’ – cold hardy to -25 C. 8 cm flowers flat blooms with violet-pink blooms. Bloom mid autumn to early winter.
‘Winter’s Toughie’ – cold hardy to -26 C. Attractive semi-double flowers with fluted and notched petals of lavender-pink. Blooms late autumn to early winter.
‘Winter’s Interlude’ – cold hardy to -26 C. This cultivar is suitable for hedging and has pink anemone form blooms. Blooms mid winter.
‘Pink Icicle’ – cold hardy to -23 C. A lovely shell pink peony form with 11 cm blooms that flowers late winter to early spring.
‘Fire ‘n’ Ice’ – cold hardy to -23 C. Bright semi-double to rose-form double. 9.5 cm blooms appear in mid spring.
‘Spring Frill’ – cold hardy to -23 C. 12 cm blooms are a rose-form double with bright iridescent pink petals. Blooms in late spring.
April Series: All plants in this series are cold hardy to -17 C.
‘April Blush’ – Semi-double and quite large averaging 12.5 cm in diameter. Cream and pale pink shading on the blooms that appear in early spring.
‘April Dawn’ – Medium-sized, multicolored, white flecked with occasional stripes of pink. Proportions of color on the blooms varies throughout the plant. Blooms mid to late spring.
‘April Rose’ – A very regular formal double, rose-red with slightly paler shading as they age. Blooms mid to late spring.
All cultural information comes from: Camellias The Gardeners Encyclopedia by Jennifer Trehane.