Camellia season is starting to wind down and I am left with images of beautiful camellias in my mind. Mostly, I picture the formal double form camellias. These little showstoppers are my favorites. Not always the largest, but with amazing form that only formal double form camellias can achieve.
When I was first introduced to camellias, I was unaware of the different flower forms. I saw only beautifully saturated flowers of all different colors and sizes. It wasn’t until I saw one of my first formal double form camellias that I understood just how important the flower form is to camellias.
Camellia flower forms are divided into six categories:
Single: One row of not over 8 petals and having conspicuous stamens.
Semi-double: Two or more rows of petals and having conspicuous stamens.
Anemone: One or more rows of large outer petals lying flat or undulating; the center a convex mass of intermingled petaloids (similar to a petal, but smaller and a bit irregular in shape) and stamens.
Peony: A deep rounded flower of two forms;
Loose peony: Loose petals, intermingled with stamens and sometimes petaloids.
Full peony: Convex mass of mixed irregular petals, petaloids and stamens or with no stamens showing.
Rose Form Double: Overlapping petals, showing stamens in a concave center only when fully open.
Formal Double: Fully overlapping, many rows of petals, never showing stamens.
The variation in formal double form camellias can vary. The ‘Brooklynia’ flower below shows a very “stacked” type of flower form. The petals line up one on top of the other to create really interesting layers.
Others, like Camellia ‘Miss Bessy Belville’ are a more loose type of petal arrangement. This variety is considered a medium size, but at 4-6″ in diameter are fairly large for the formal double form camellia category.
Formal Double Form Camellias
I enjoy looking back through my photos and admiring so many of the different images from the season. With formal double form camellias on my mind, I hope you enjoy these images of cultivars featuring this form.