The Q&A Archives: Fragrant Double Formal Camellia?

Question: Is there a camellia that is fragrant and shaped as double formal with upright habit? If not, would you recommend a white and/or double formal that is drought tolerant?

Answer: For drought tolerance I'd choose Camellia sasanqua 'Setsugekka' with large, white, semi-double flowers with fluted petals. Camellia japonica has the most formal, upright habit, but is less drought tolerant than C. sasanqua. For a real standout in the garden, choose C. japonica "Purity" with double flowers in whitest white, with just a hint of fragrance. Sunset Western Garden Book has descriptions of hundreds of other camellias and your library probably has a copy. You can browse to your heart's content. If you're like me, you'll have a hard time deciding between them!

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