Magazine of Horticulture, Botany, and All Useful Discoveries 7: 336-337 (Sept 1841)

ART. III. Some Remarks upon the cultivation of Caméllia japónica var. Harrisonii.
By Dr. J. S. GUNNELL, Washington, D. C.

*As long ago, we believe, as 1826 or 1828. We visited the collection of Mr. Harrison,
in 1835, (see our Vol. III., p. 125,) and at that time we saw large plants.—Ed.

The peculiar shy blooming character of Camellia japonica var. Harrisonii is well known to most cultivators of this splendid family of plants. It is an American seedling, raised near New York, many years since,* and is quite common in all good collections of the camellia; but, notwithstanding this, it is rarely seen in bloom.

I have had several plants of this variety seven years, some of which are now four or five feet high, and in fine growing condition, but I have never had only three flowers, all of which were on one of the plants; two opened last winter, and one the winter before last. None of the others have opened a bloom. I therefore came to the determination, last spring, to inarch the plants with other more free blooming and desirable varieties.

This variety is later than others in commencing its spring growth, and, consequently, the inarching was not made until early in June. At that time, the new wood was about half grown, or had made about half its length: the inarchings were made at that part of the stem where the branches divide, and as the stock was somewhat larger than the scion, it was necessary to bind the matting tighter than for smaller stocks. After the operation was finished, very little notice was taken of the plants for some time. Judge, then, of my astonishment, when I came to inspect the plants more particularly, a few weeks aster, to find them as full of flower buds as I could wish, some of the branches having two buds each.

The only reason I can offer for this unusual quantity of buds, is, that the binding of the plants, in that stage of their growth when they were inarched, checked the flow of the sap, (the variety being a rapid grower,) and consequently induced the formation of flower buds. So far as I have had any information, ordinary treatment has not been attended with any success, and, although I may be in error as to the cause of the budding of my plants, still I think the information worth communicating in your pages, that others, who have not been able to flower this variety, may try the experiment. It is one of the most beautiful kinds. The flower is small, but as full as the double white, and if any method can be suggested, which will enable cultivators to bloom it freely, it will be a great desideratum.

Respectfully yours,
J. S. GUNNELL.
Washington, D. C., August,
1841.

Camellias