Although it is originally from China through to the foothills of Northern India, Camellia sinensis is widely grown, including in Sri Lanka, Australia and yes in North America.
This is the Camellia of commerce, the plant grown to make tea. Not all tea comes from the same plant as we might be led to believe. Technically speaking two varieties are grown, one the species C.sinensis var. sinensis and the other C.sinensis var. assamica.
Same species, two varieties, and two types of tea, the Chinese tea and the Indian tea or Assam tea. And yes all of the types of tea including Orange Peko, English Breakfast, Oolong, Earl Grey and all of the others come from these plants.
A bushy habit is essential for growing tea
So why the low growing bushy habit ?
Camellia sinensis will naturally grow to over 12 ft tall. This presents a few problems for tea pickers. Firstly you can't reach the new leaves to pick them. secondly you will not have as many new buds to pick.
Spring is picking time, pinch those two small leaves from the new growth and you are ready to dry them and 'Make your Own Tea'.
Fairly easy from cuttings, also possible from seed.
- Fresh seed should be used.
- Seed needs to be kept moist.
Where to buy
Offered by good Camellia specialists only.