INTRODUCTION AND CONSERVATION OF AUTUMN CAMELLIAS IN HISTORICAL GARDENS OF NORTH-WESTERN ITALY
Camellia sasanqua has Japanese origin and is commonly known as autumn camellia because of its autumn-winter flowering. Since ancient times, in Orient C. sasanqua was appreciated as ornamental plant and represented in many paintings. In Europe, the first information was published by Engelbert Kaempfer in 1712 in Amnitatum Exoticarum. In this book the author named the autumn camellia as Sasanqua of Japanese and described the 25 main cultivars he saw in Japan. The introduction of C. sasanqua plants in Europe dates back to the first half of the XIX century. At that time this species was not very popular as ornamental because of the simple shape and soft colour of the flowers and was often confused with C. oleifera and C. maliflora. This study aimed to investigate the introduction and the assessment of autumn camellias in Italy through a detailed bibliographic research. Few information were found in ancient documents and catalogues kept in public and private archives and a small number of old C. sasanqua cultivars were found in historical gardens. To date, precious collections are located especially in gardens around the Lake Maggiore (Piedmont Italy). A catalogue field with fifty-six camellia cultivars was then established in Verbania. This valuable botanical heritage needs to be studied and preserved.
Gullino, P., Larcher, F. and Scariot, V. (2010). INTRODUCTION AND CONSERVATION OF AUTUMN CAMELLIAS IN HISTORICAL GARDENS OF NORTH-WESTERN ITALY. Acta Hortic. 881, 927-931
Camellia sasanqua, old cultivars, botanical heritage, Piedmont, germplams