There are 100-250 described species of this beautiful evergreen plant with waxy blossoms that bloom late in the year yielding bright, uplifting flowers and shinny green leaves after all else has gone dormant.
These are native to the area from the Himalayas to Japan to Indonesia. They were enjoyed there for centuries before they found themselves in Europe where they were quickly beautifying formal gardens there.
Perhaps the greatest camellia show is the Pensacola, Florida show called the Pensacola Camellia Show. This is worth a visit to Pensacola.
Avery Island is 140 miles west of New Orleans. Although it is best know for the Tabasco peppers that have been growing there since the 1860's, the island is home to about 450 varieties of camellias, many of which are rare and endangered.
The Camellia sinensis is a tea plant and is grown comercially for its tea leaves.
Camellia oil is often used to clean and protect blades of cutting instruments.
Alexandre Dumas wrote La Dame aux Camelias (French), and this love story was written in opera form by Giuseppe Verdi in his La Traviata (Italian).There are English adaptations or translations of La Dame aux Camelias (The Lady of the Camelias).