Camellia nitidissima (Yellow Camellia)

Scientific Name

Camellia nitidissima C.W.Chi

Common Names

Yellow Camellia. Golden Camellia


Camellia nitidissima var. nitidissima

Scientific Classification

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


Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Midwinter to mid-spring


Camellia nitidissima is a shrub or small tree growing up to 16.4 feet (5 m) in height. The leathery, elongated, oval leaves are glossy, emerald green, and have dimpled veins across the surface. Flowering occurs from midwinter to mid-spring. The cup-shaped, waxy blooms are light to canary yellow and semi-double and comprised of petals that curve inward like those of a rose. In the center of each blossom is a dense cluster of golden-orange stamens. New foliage unfolds in both spring and autumn.

Camellia nitidissima - Yellow Camellia
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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 do 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 repot 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.


It is endemic to the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China and northern Vietnam.


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