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Camellia oleifera - C.Abel.

Common Name Tea-Oil Plant, Tea Oil Camellia
Family Theaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests, thickets, banks of streams and foothills at elevations of 500 - 1300 metres[109, 266].
Range E. Asia - China
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Camellia oleifera Tea-Oil Plant, Tea Oil Camellia


Camellia oleifera Tea-Oil Plant, Tea Oil Camellia

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Early winter, Late fall, Late winter, Mid fall, Mid winter. Form: Rounded, Vase.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Camellia oleifera is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from October to April, and the seeds ripen in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Oil
Edible Uses: Oil  Oil

An oil obtained from the seed is used in cooking[2, 11, 109].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anthelmintic

The seed oil is used in the treatment of ringworm[218].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Dye  Insecticide  Oil  Oil

A non-drying oil is obtained from the seed - used in textile manufacture, soap making and as an illuminant[1, 11, 166, 178]. The oil consists mainly of olein. It is not subject to polymerize or oxidize, nor does it form solids at low temperatures[174]. A grey dye is obtained from the pink or red petals[168]. The seed cake has insecticidal activity[218].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Standard, Specimen. Prefers a woodland soil but thrives in a warm open well-drained loam if leafmould is added[1, 11, 200]. A calcifuge plant, preferring a pH between 5 and 7[11, 200]. Prefers the partial shade of a light woodland[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. It succeeds on a wall at Kew and outdoors in milder areas[11]. Prefers a wet summer and a cool but not very frosty dry winter[200]. Plants are not very self-compatible, self-fertilized flowers produce few seeds and these are of low viability[200]. This species has been cultivated for many centuries in China for the oil in its seed[109, 219]. A very ornamental plant, some named forms have been developed for their ornamental value. This species is closely related to C. sasanqua[11]. Special Features:Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[113]. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water and the hard covering around the micropyle should be filed down to leave a thin covering[78, 113, 138]. It usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 23°c[138]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall and give them some protection from winter cold for their first year or three outdoors[K]. Cuttings of almost ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, August/September in a shaded frame. High percentage but slow[78]. Cuttings of firm wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, end of June in a frame[11, 78]. Keep in a cool greenhouse for the first year[11]. Leaf-bud cuttings, July/August in a frame.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Camellia biflora Shrub9.0 -  LMSNM20 
Camellia chekiangoleosaCamelliaShrub6.0 7-10  LMSNM20 
Camellia gracilisCamelliaShrub4.0 -  LMSNM20 
Camellia japonicaCamellia, Common Camellia, Japanese CamelliaShrub10.0 7-9 SLMFSNM322
Camellia kissi Shrub12.0 7-10  LMSNM22 
Camellia pitardii Shrub7.0 7-10  LMSNM20 
Camellia polyodonta Shrub4.5 7-10  LMSNM20 
Camellia reticulataTo-tsubakiShrub10.0 7-10  LMSNM301
Camellia sasanquaCamellia, Sasanqua camelliaShrub3.0 7-9 SLMSNM314
Camellia semiserrata Shrub12.0 7-10  LMSNM20 
Camellia sinensisTea Plant, Assam tea, Tea Tree CamelliaShrub4.0 7-9 SLMSM443
Camellia sinensis assamicaTea Plant, Assam TeaShrub10.0 8-10 SLMHSNM443
Camellia yunnanensis Shrub3.6 7-10  LMSNM20 
Stewartia pseudocamelliaJapanese StewartiaTree15.0 4-7 SLMHSNM102

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

C.Abel.

Botanical References

11200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

eileen kurahashi   Mon May 7 2007

WWF China habitat and plan for conservation of Camellia Luteoflora

sean   Tue Oct 7 2008

Oil is one of the best for protecting tools and keeping tools rust free. Really good if using tools for prunning edible plants because of course the oil is non- toxic and edible. Also oil from Camellia japonica for same purpose.

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Subject : Camellia oleifera  
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