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Camellia 'Donckelaeri'

18th April 2014

An old Japanese cultivar introduced to Europe by Siebold in 1829 following his first visit. There is a certain amount of confusion about the exact identity of the cultivar, and the correct name might be 'Masayoshi', however this is the cultivar as it is grown in the UK.
It was one of the first cultivars I planted in the garden and it is now a large bush, but somehow I have failed to take any adequate photographs until recently.

21st January 2020

It is recorded in Japan in 1788 under the name 'Masayoshi' after the owner of the original tree in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture. Introduced to Europe by Philipp von Siebold in 1829, a Doctor with botanical interests posted to the island of Dejima at Nagasaki. His value as a doctor enabled him to travel locally and his students and patients brought him botanical specimens. He was expelled from Japan in 1829 when the authorities discovered that he had a map of the northern parts of Japan, and accused him of being a spy.
He returned to the Netherlands and the University of Ghent received all of his living plants, which included, amongst other things, Camellia 'Donckelaeri' and the female clone of Japanese Knotweed that is now regarded as an invasive weed.


  • International Camellia Society online Camellia register, https://internationalcamellia.org