A Pleasant Surprise

“A Pleasant Surprise”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


I was surprised to see that the Sasanqua Camellia that I purchased last fall already has started to bloom.  It has a very lovely flower, but it was not labled correctly.  I bought it as Yuletide, a brilliant scarlet flower, but it has bloomed white with very pale pink edges.  The tag said Yuletide, and the container even had Yuletide written on its side, but, alas, it was not.




Sasanquas are a little different from the better known Japonicas.  Sasanquas usually bloom earlier and have smaller flowers.  They also will tolerate more sun than the japonicas will and also tend to be hardier.  Smaller than the spring flowering camellias, sasanquas come in low growing as well as ones that reach five to seven feet. 


I planted this one in a large container because I had wanted to place it next to the front door when it was blooming.  Since it turned out to be a different variety, I probably will plant it in the ground next month.


At first I was very disappointed that this camellia was mislabled, but it was not long before I realized how lovely this one truly was.  I still will try and buy a Yuletide, but this time I will wait until it is flowering to be sure I get the real thing.


  1. Randy said,

    October 8, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Even though it’s a lovely flower, I have to agree, it’s still disappointing to find you have something other than your intended purchase. That’s happened on more than one instance with me. It will still be a wonderful addition to your garden. 🙂

  2. Phillip said,

    October 8, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    It looks like “Hana Jiman”

    Here is a link to a photo I took of mine last fall. It hasn’t started blooming yet this year.


  3. Jan said,

    October 9, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Randy, having plants mislabled is happening more and more and can be very aggravating. It is often difficult always to buy plants in bloom. I am lucky that this turned out to be such a lovely flower.

    Thanks, Phillip, since mine was mislabled, I was wondering what it might be in case I wanted a second one.

  4. mothernaturesgarden said,

    October 9, 2008 at 4:47 am

    I think it is prettier than Yuletide.

  5. fairegarden said,

    October 9, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Hi Jan, this is lovely and I would be thrilled with the white, goes with everything! But I know Yuletide is a beauty as well. We have buds on one by the front door that has never bloomed due to late frosts, drought, accidental breakage. It is called Jury’s yellow, so we will see if it is that cultivar or not when it blooms. I will think of you when it does. ;->

  6. Barbarapc said,

    October 10, 2008 at 9:42 am

    I’m just so impressed that you can grow Camellias – in my next life, I’ll live in a warmer climate. Sometimes I think the people in the nurseries feel that it’s better to label incorrectly, than not label at all – still a beautiful blossom.

  7. October 10, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Hi Jan,
    Enjoyed your camelia photo. It’s been a while since I planted one for myself or my clients here in Los Angeles.

    I enjoyed your blog.

  8. Jan said,

    October 10, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Mothernaturesgarden, I think I have to agree with you, but I wouldn’t have just a year ago. I really wanted Yuletide.

    Barbarapc, it seems like we always want what we can’t have. There are several plants I am dying to grow (peonies, lilac) but it is too hot here. I think there is no excuse for mislabled plants. It would be okay if they just put a generic label, like just “camellia” rather than the cultivar if it could be wrong.

    Shriley, thanks for the comment about my blog. I appreciate it. Time to think about planting some more camillias, maybe.

  9. Jan said,

    October 10, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Frances, it must be disappointing that you have never seen your camellia bloom. I hope this year will be different.

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