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C.japonica ‘Duarte de Oliveira’

C.japonica ‘Duarte de Oliveira’ duarte2

Illustration: Detail from a chromolithograph in Jornal de Horticultura Pratica, 1871, Vol. II, p.2, painted according to nature at Horto Loureiro by Frederico Pellereau, engraved by L. Stroobant, Gand in Belgium, and digitally remastered by Armando Oliveira, 2012.

Originator: Unknown, found in a backyard by José Marques Loureiro, in January 1870, near Porto.

Commentary: Armando Oliveira, 2012.

This is one of the more prize winning C.japonica varieties of Portuguese origin in the latest national contests in Portugal. Duarte de Oliveira was a very cultivated person and also a remarkable horticulturist and camellia enthusiast. In 1870 he founded with his great friend José Marques Loureiro the Jornal de Horticultura Pratica, of which he was editor for 18 years, participating with many interesting articles. His monthly “Chronicles” are a main source for research on Portuguese horticulture in the 19th century.

Camillo Aureliano, another camellia enthusiast, in an article published in Jornal de Horticultura Pratica, 1871, p.2, describes this variety as: “…vivid cherry uniform colour large rose form double, resembling a hood; outer petals are big, notched, cordiform, central petals smaller and oval, closing in a bud, all veined carmine in a perfect imbrication.”

Unfortunately Joaquim Moreira da Silva, in an article published in the 1955 American Camellia Yearbook, pp.73-79, introduced an error when describing the camellia Duarte de Oliveira. On page 74 he refers“... Duarte d’Oliveira, rose form, scarlet splashed with white.”~

In the same text, page 76, Moreira da Silva makes a list of the Portuguese camellias that can be seen in Porto city in 1880 and describes correctly this variety as:

...“Duarte d’Oliveira – rose form, bright scarlet, very large.”

Later, in 2000, this error is absorbed by Veiga Ferreira and his wife Maria Celina in the book O Mundo da Camélia, p.80, where they describe this camellia as: “...Wine red colour with white blotches, anemone form, large, blooming late” as legend to a colour photo of a flower that doesn’t correspond to Duarte de Oliveira but to Gigantea.

In a recent Portuguese contest, owing to the efforts of António Assunção, this error was eliminated. The beauty, splendour and colour of this camellia are finally standardized and national nurseries are beginning to produce again this marvellous flower.


Location of long established plants:

Viveiros Albar, Fânzeres; Viveiros Flavius, Guimarães; Casa da Compra, Amarante.



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