Camellia hongkongensis (Hong Kong Camellia)

Scientific Name

Camellia hongkongensis Seem.

Common Names

Hong Kong Camellia


Thea hongkongensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Theaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Camellia


Color: Red
Bloom Time: Late winter to mid-spring


Camellia hongkongensis is a small evergreen tree that grows up to 30 feet (9 m) tall. Its young branches are reddish-brown. Leaves are glossy green, leathery, oblong, and up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) long. The young branches and leaves are glabrous. Of the Camellia species native to Hong Kong, only this species bears red flowers. They are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) across.

Camellia hongkongensis (Hong Kong Camellia)
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USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Choose a large rugged pot, terracotta, wood, or stone, and part fill with ericaceous compost and then add your plant and backfill so that the level of the pot is level with the soil. Water well, preferably with water taken from a water butt. If you use tap water, which tends to be alkaline, allow it to stand for a morning first.

Repot every other year into fresh potting compost. In the intervening years, remove the top 2 inches (5 cm) of compost and add fresh compost. You can re-pot back into the same pot if you trim off up to a third of the roots to make room for fresh potting compost or go up into a larger pot. This regime will keep your Camellia happy.

Camellias are fast-growing tap-rotted plants, and the new growth can snap off in windy positions, so staking is advisable for the first few years until the Camellia becomes bushy. They do tolerate windy conditions, however, once established, and are often used as windbreaks in gardens where they thrive. See more at How to Grow and Care for Camellia.


Native to Hong Kong.


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