English Name: Japanese camellia
Latin name: Camellia japonica
Family: Theaceae - Theaceae
Origin: Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea
The Japanese camellia grows naturally in forests with a deep undergrowth, an everygreen shrub between 10 and 15 metres in height. The leaves are leathery, glossy, elliptical and pointed, with serrated edges. The camellia is characterized by its beautiful, odourless flowers, with different colours depending on the variety: white, pink, dark red. Their diameter is between 3 and 4 cm., and sometimes even 12 cm.
The camellia is a medicinal plant. The leaves contain a considerable amount of essential (ethereal) oils, from which are produced pastes, liniments and preparations used in dentistry. At home, infusions from the leaves can be used to wash wounds that are festering or difficult to heal, to treat eczema and pimples, and as a mouthwash against inflammations. The seeds provide camellianoside, a glycoside used to produce drugs to treat cardiac disease. The shrub is also a popular decorative plant, commonly grown in countries with a warm climate. In countries such as Poland, it is cultivated as a potted plant.