University of Florida

Home > Tree selection > Uncommon trees zone 8-9 > Camilia oleifera

Camellia oleifera, Tea-Oil Camellia

Tea-Oil Camellia should be grown in full sun or partial shade on rich, moist, acid soils. It will tolerate drought once established and grows well in clay soil or sandy soil. Plants should require little pruning and their dense, compact, crown makes them ideally suited for informal borders, specimens, accents, and sheared or natural hedges or screens. Plants can be pruned to multi- or single-trunked small trees. It would make a great feature plant in a garden or patio area, or could be used along sidewalks. Camellia pollen causes few if any allergy problems.

This plant can be grown as a multi-trunk tree for use in highway median strips and in landscapes, or can be used as a street tree where there is not a need for tall-vehicle clearance beneath the crown. The small stature and low, spreading, branching habit makes pruning for vehicular clearance difficult unless it is properly trained from an early age to develop one main trunk. The effort required initially to train this tree for street tree use, however, may be offset by its advantages.

Plants grow slowly making this a more expensive plant to purchase from nurseries than many others. White flowers and light exfoliating, smooth crapemyrtle-like bark add a great contrast against a dark green shrub border or dark colored building.

Tea-Oil Camellia Photos

Tea-Oil Camellia

Tea-Oil Camellia Leaves

Tea-Oil Camellia Leaves

Tea-Oil Camellia Branches

Additional Information