The Wonderful Camellias
of Batumi Botanical Garden

Batumi Botanical Garden, on the Black Sea coast of the Republic of Georgia, occupies a significant places among the world’s botanic gardens. It was founded in 1912, and since the first day of its foundation, intensive activities have been conducted to create a live collection of plants.   Species and varieties of plants from Georgia as well as other regions of the world have been introduced, and now thrive in the Garden.       

Among its prized plants: a collection of camellias, which this spring the Garden displayed in a special exhibition designed to popularize japonicas, in particular, by introducing them to the interested.  The first exhibition occurred in 2015, followed by the one this spring. The exhibitions displayed 67 varieties of japonicas, which created – and deserved –  great interest among the visitors.

C. j. Delphine

C. japonica 'Delphine'

C. j. Elegans

C. japonica 'Elegans'

Since its foundation the Garden has acquired a rich collection of foreign plants, which have been planted in corresponding phytogeographical departments according to their origin. Areas of the garden have been selected for each department to give the appropriate micro-climatic conditions.  At present there are three parks, with nine phytogeographical departments in the Garden: East Asian, North American, Mediterranean, Transcaucasia Humid Subtropics, Himalayan, Australia, South American, Mexican and New Zealand.

According to 2009-2012 data, the woody plants collection of the Garden comprises 1457 taxa, 284 families and 532 genera.

Species and varieties of genus Camellia L. occupy an important place among the plant collections of the Garden. They have been introduced to the Garden area from southern Europe since the 1880s.

Camellias are located throughout the Garden territory – in the floristic sections as well as the parks.  In addition, special collection plots have been created for Camellias.

Two species – Camellia japonica L. and Camellia sasanqua Thunb  – and 54 varieties of Camellia japonica  had been introduced to the Garden territory long before its foundation. Among them, some of the  historic varieties of japonicas are distinguished by their highly  decorative qualities: ‘Alba Plena’, ‘Elegans’, ‘Mathotiana Alba’,  ‘Haku-Ho’, ‘Contessa Nencini’, ‘Frau Minna Seidel’, ‘Emperor’ (a cross between C.j. ‘Colvilii’ and C.reticulata), and ‘Pelagii’ .  And after the foundation of the Botanic Garden in 1912, growth of the camellia collection continued.

C. j. Madam Haas

C. japonica 'Madam Haas'

compressed Hybrid 1 606

In 1937, the Batumi Botanical Garden received two varieties of Camellia japonica L. and seven varieties of Camellia sasanqua Thunb. from Japan, and in 1959 the collection was enriched with two specimens of Camellia reticulata Lindl.  and Camellia oleifera Abel., grown from seeds sent from China.  Later, between 1961 and 1968 over 30 varieties of japonicas were brought to the Garden from the old parks along the Black Sea coast. 

Currently, genus Camellia is represented by four species and their cultivars in the Batumi Botanical Garden:  Camellia japonica L., Camellia sasanqua Thunb., Camellia oleifera Abel., and Camellia reticulata Lindl.    Among them, japonicas present by the richest assortment, with 78 different varieties.

Camellia sasanqua also holds an important place in the plant collection of the Garden. It is represented by 18 varieties, including the highly decorative ‘Asa-gasumi’, ‘Gyobu- goromo’, ‘Lavender Pink’, ‘Negishi-ko’, ‘Rosea’, ‘Versicolor (Sawada)’, and ‘White Queen’.

Hybrid 5633 Hybrid 65

The work on the selection of camellias has been going on in Batumi Botanical Garden for at least 50 years.   Since 1961 many high-dignity hybrids have been cultivated in the Garden, with about 20 exceptional ones. At present the camellia collection is being studied, propagated, preserved, cultivated and featured in “green” construction projects.

Come visit us during our next exhibition in the spring of 2017, and share our enthusiasm for these wonderful plants!

Contact us:

Lana Kodanovi (Staff member)

The Batumi Botanical Garden, Batumi, Georgia

Website: Batumi Botanical Garden


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