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Development of a touristic route of winter gardens in Galicia (NW Spain) based on the camellias: the Camellia Route

Salinero C.1, Vela P.1, Castiñeiras J.R.2, Sainz M.J.3

1: Estación Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro, Deputación de Pontevedra, Subida a la Robleda s/n, 36153 Pontevedra, Spain. E-mail:
2: Turgalicia, S.A., Estrada Santiago-Noia, km. 1, 15896 Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
3: Departamento de Producción Vegetal, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Campus Universitario s/n, 27002 Lugo, Spain


Currently, there is an homogenization of tourist destinations in Spain and also in Europe, so that public administrations are seeking tourist differentiating elements to compete in the market, offering exclusive products. In Spain, old camellia specimens and a high diversity of camellia cultivars can be found only in Galicia (NW Spain), thus making camellias a key resource for the promotion of tourism and the creation of the tourism brand Galicia.

The origin of the first camellia plants that were introduced in Galicia is still unknown, mainly because of the lack of written documents supporting their origin and time of planting. However, it is known that the Galician nobility introduced some camellia specimens in the 19th century, and today some of them still flourish in the gardens of stately homes and manor houses. Nurseries from different European countries such as France, Belgium and Italy might have provided some of these plants. Ancient camellia specimens of Galicia have attained very large sizes, much larger than in their home areas, so they look like real trees. Some are considered monumental trees and/or unique trees, and are subject to legal protection (Rodríguez-Dacal and Izco, 2003; Decree 67/2007, of 22 March, of Xunta de Galicia).

In Galicia, until early twentieth century, the cultivation of camellias was exclusive to the nobility and the bourgeoisie and unavailable for other social strata, but it began to be generally available in the mid-twentieth century, becoming popular since then in every garden and in the streets (Salinero and González, 2006).
Camellias embrace the emotional and symbolic values of the hidden language of Galician gardens. The image of camellias emcompasses the perception the tourist has and expects from the destination Galicia: an image of imagination, mystery, and legend.

Camellias also have the added value that can favour the deseasonalisation and diversification of the tourism offer. The gardens with camellias are more impressive from autumn to late spring, a time when there are fewer visits to Galicia by residents of Spain (Figure 1).

1.jpgFigure 1. Number of visits to Galicia per month by residents of Spain
in 2010 and 2011 (IET, 2012).

From the late 1980s until 2011, the Estación Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro (at Pontevedra, one of the provinces of Galicia) conducted several surveys of important public and private gardens of Galicia to establish the diversity of the genus Camellia. In 2006, a collaboration of this center with Turgalicia and the Spanish Camellia Society was initiated in order to design a route through the gardens of Galicia with the common theme of camellias. The results of the surveys made in the Galician gardens from the late 1980s until 2011 to catalogue camellias and specimens of other species of botanical, historical and/or cultural interest, are presented in this paper.

Material and methods

Public and private gardens of Galicia, from which any written reference was available, were visited to select and evaluate specimens of camellias and other species of botanical, historical and/or cultural interest. Identification of the species of each specimen (based on the morpho-botanical characteristics) was made. Information about the plants of interest was obtained from the owners (mostly oral information and, in some cases, private documents) and, where possible, from literature or public documents (in museums, provincial governments, municipalities, etc.).

In each garden, specimens of the most relevant camellias and other plant species, considering the age, growth habit, location and history of the plant, were selected and taxonomically identified. Where possible, data on the origin and date of planting were collected. Data on the garden history, buildings, facilities offered and activities related to camellias were also recorded. In each garden, a map showing the location of camellias and unique specimens of other species was made, with a recommended itinerary. Camellias and other plant specimens were spatially placed by GPS. Finally, a Winter Garden Route of Galicia, with the common theme of camellias, was designed.

Results and discussion

Data collected from the gardens of Pazo Museo Quiñones de León, Parque del Castro, Soutomaior Castle, Pazo de Lourizán, La Saleta, Pazo de Quinteiro da Cruz, Pazo de Rubiáns, House-Museum of Rosalía de Castro, Pazo de Oca, Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla, Pazo de Mariñán, and Alameda de Santiago de Compostela, located in the Galician provinces of A Coruña and Pontevedra, allowed the design of a route based on camellias (Figure 2). All these gardens have in common the presence of camellias and specimens of interest of other plant species, together with water sources and stone buildings (Pazos, churches, etc.).

2.jpgFigure 2. Itinerary proposed for visiting the gardens of the Camellia Route of Galicia (NW Spain).

The route is complemented with tourism products based on camellias, such as camellia oil and soap, camellia paintings by local artists, crafts and wine, which are offered in many of the gardens, being planned to extend to other products such as tea made from camellias of each garden. The route is reinforced throughout the time of camellia flowering with more than 15 flower shows organized during the weekends.
The route proposed can be an enriching element for attracting and increasing satisfaction of tourists in Galicia. It can be adapated to fit most accurately the visitor profile. In the last destination survey, the majority indicated that their first reason for visiting Galicia was to experience the natural environment and landscape, that they travelled with their family (40.5%) and used the car as transportation not only for access (44.3%) but also to move about (84.3%) (Xunta de Galicia, 2012). The average length of stay was 13.21 days, during which most of the tourists travelled independently (45.4%).
The main features of the twelve gardens of the route are presented below.

1) Pazo Museo Quiñones de León

The Pazo Museo Quiñones de León, also known as Pazo de Castrelos, is an institution that belongs to the city council of Vigo (province of Pontevedra). The garden was created in the 19th century and it is documented that the first camellias were brought in 1860 from the Marques Loureiro nursery in Portugal.
The garden comprises three levels. The upper one, the rose garden, starts from an arbor covered with a metal pergola, which was formerly a greenhouse. The intermediate level is the French garden, having a path of impressive box hedges that form a maze. At the lowest level there is the English garden, also called the tea meadow, surrounded by two paths.

Among the specimens of camellias planted in the garden, it is worth mentioning the Camellia japonica known as the Methuselah of the Camellias and an impressive hedge formed by the Camellia japonica cultivars 'Alba Plena', 'Bella Romana', 'Federici', 'Hagoromo', 'Herzilia II', 'Incarnata', 'Kelvingtoniana' and 'Pomponia Portuensis'.
This garden also contains a great variety of exotic species, as well as specimens of Eucalyptus globulus, Fagus sylvatica and Liriodendron tulipifera, which, together with the camellia ‘Methuselah’, are included in the Galician Catalog of Singular Trees (Xunta de Galicia, Decree 67/2007, 22 of March).

2) Castro Park

The Castro Park is a botanic garden located in the heart of the city of Vigo and is one of the most beautiful urban parks in Galicia. It has a great number of exotic species, of a large size and with an important ornamental value. There is an important camellia collection, distributed in several garden areas, mostly cultivars of Camellia japonica of Portuguese origin, such as 'Jane Andresen', 'Angelina Vieira' and 'Pomponia Portuensis striata', among others. This collection is being enlarged with specimens donated by the provincial government and distributed along the route of the proposed visit.

The park also has a specimen of Pinus radiata included in the Galician Catalogue of Monumental Trees (Rodríguez Dacal and Izco, 2003). Other specimens of interest are trees of Catalpa bignonioides, Melaleuca armillaris, Liquidambar styraciflua, Betula pendula, Liriodendron tulipifera and Phoenix canariensis.

3) Botanic Park of Soutomaior Castle

In Soutomaior (province of Pontevedra), in the Valley of the Verdugo River, in the Vigo estuary, we find a medieval castle perfectly preserved. In 1982 the property was acquired by the Pontevedra provincial government that carried out the restoration of the medieval castle to devote it to cultural purposes.
Around the castle there is an area of 35 hectares dedicated to vineyards, native forest, fruit trees and a botanical park, considered the most important in Galicia, and containing over a hundred varieties of camellias and ancient chestnut trees from the five continents.

At the botanical park, there are about 500 camellia plants of 25 species and many hybrids. It is worth mentioning the 19 specimens of Camellia japonica that were already planted in Soutomaior Castle when the castle was acquired by the Pontevedra provincial government, some of them dating back to the 19th century. One of these specimens, which consists of 18 trunks that grow from the base of the tree, has the largest trunk girth of all Galician camellias and a crown diameter of 17 meters.

There are also many exotic species, some of them included in the Galician Catalogue of Singular Trees. These are Araucaria araucana, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Cryptomeria japonica and Sequoia sempervirens.
During the International Camellia Congress, held in China in February 2012, the Botanic Park of Soutomaior Castle was designated as Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society.

4) Pazo de Lourizán

The Pazo de Lourizán is on the north side of the massif Morrazo at the bottom of the estuary, between the towns of Pontevedra and Marin. The Pontevedra provincial government acquired the property in the early 1940s and created what is now the Forest Research Centre of Lourizán.

The Pazo has 54 hectares of garden, farm and groves. It has a large botanical garden with exotic and native species, created in 1949 under the title Arboretum, which includes those species planted from the 19th century to the present. The oldest camellia specimens date from the 19th century and were supposedly obtained from the Establecimiento Horticola nurseries of Jose Marques Loureiro in Porto (Portugal) and the School of Agriculture in A Caeira (Pontevedra, Spain). Along the paths and in the garden area, there are more than 600 specimens of different cultivars of Camellia japonica: 'Alba Plena', 'Alba Simplex', 'Angelina Vieira', 'Antonio Bernardo Ferreira', 'Bella Romana', 'Cidade de Vigo', 'Corallina', 'Covina', 'Dona de Freitas Magalhães Herzilia', ' Incarnata ' 'Dom Pedro V, Rei de Portugal' and 'Pompone'. The 'Alba Plena' plants are particularly impressive.
In the garden, there are trees of other species included in the Galician Catalogue of Singular Trees, such as the specimens of Araucaria heterophylla, Arecastrum romanzoffianum, Cedrus libani, Metasequoia glyptostroboides and Ulmus x hollandica, and the groups of Castanea crenata and Castanea mollissima. Other specimens that can be seen are the avenue of magnolias and the trees of Abies pinsapo, Buxus sempervirens, Callitris oblonga, Callitris rhomboidea, clones of several species of Castanea, Corylus avellana, Dicksonia antarctica, Fagus sylvatica, Larix x eurolepis, Magnolia grandiflora, Phoenix canariensis, Pinus canariensis, Pinus halepensis, Quercus ilex subsp. ilex, Sequoia sempervirens, Sophora japonica 'Pendula', Tetraclinis articulata and Ulmus minor.

5) La Saleta

La Saleta is located in the municipality of Meis (Pontevedra, Spain). The garden covers an area of 5 hectares. It is an English style garden designed by the landscape architect Brenda Colvin, including the part devoted to the forest, where oaks, eucalyptus and cork oaks are planted. In the garden there are also eastern species such as rhododendrons and azaleas, Australian myrtaceous and proteaceous plants, and South American ericaceous, all properly classified and labelled.

In addition to specimens of Camellia lutchuensis, Camellia vernalis and Camellia nitidissima, there are also many cultivars of other Camellia species and hybrids: Camellia japonica ´Debutante´, ´Dr. Tinsley´, ´Lavinia Maggi´ and ´Mathotiana Alba´, Camellia sasanqua ´Jean May´ and ´Narumigata´, Camellia reticulata ‘Mandalay Queen’, ‘Royalty’ and ‘Valentine Day’, Camellia x williamsii ´Debbie´, ´George Blandford´, ´J.C. Williams´, ´Philippa Forward´ and ´St. Ewe´, C. reticulata hybrid ‘Interval’, Camellia hiemalis ´Kanjiro´, and Camellia rusticana x Camellia lutchuensis ´Fragrant Pink´.

There also specimens of interest of Acacia elata, Acer capillipes, Acer palmatum var. virilis, Arbutus unedo, Cedrus libani, Cinnamomum camphora, Cotinus coggygria, Cupressocyparis leylandii, Liquidambar styraciflua, Magnolia grandiflora, Magnolia soulangeana, Magnolia stellata, Magnolia tripetala, Pinus pinaster, Quercus pyrenaica, Quercus robur, Quercus rubra and Quercus suber.

6) Pazo de Quinteiro da Cruz

The Pazo Quinteiro da Cruz is situated in the valley of Salnés, in the municipality of Ribadumia (Pontevedra, Spain). Part of the gardens were designed in the late 19th century by the French gardener and landscaper Dorgambide, and an area has recently been created (between 1975-1980) by Victoriano Acosta Piñeiro, who has restored the flora according to the historical tradition and added the magnificent collection of camellias and other plants imported from different countries around the world.

In the gardens, surrounded by ‘Albariño’ vineyards and an indigenous forest, grow hundreds of species (some native, many of tropical and exotic species), but the major attraction is the Camellia garden. Around 5,000 specimens of over 1,500 varieties of different species are blooming in the garden, among which are Camellia assimilis, Camellia caudata, Camellia cuspidata, Camellia fluviatilis, Camellia nitidissima, Camellia granthamiana, Camellia sasanqua and Camellia sinensis. Especially impressive are specimens of Camellia japonica, Camellia reticulata and Camellia Higo.

Among the most remarkable cultivars are Camellia japonica 'Angelina Vieira', `Augusto Leal de Gouveia Pinto', 'Grace Albritton', 'Happy Higo', 'Mathotiana Alba', 'Nuccio's Gem' and 'Tama-no-ura', Camellia reticulata 'Captain Rawes' and 'Miss Tulare', Camellia reticulata hybrid 'Interval', Camellia x williamsii 'Rendezvous' and Camellia reticulata x Camellia japonica ‘Dr. Clifford Parks'.

Tree specimens of interest, such as those of Aesculus hippocastanum, Araucaria brasiliensis, Buxus sp., Cedrus atlantica, Cupressus sempervirens, Erythrina crista-galli, Lagerstroemia indica, Liquidambar styraciflua, Magnolia grandiflora, Phoenix dactilifera, Pinus pinea and Robinia pseudoacacia, can also be seen.

7) Pazo de Rubianes

Located in the Arousa estuary in Pontevedra (NW Spain), there is one of the three lordships officially recognized in Spain, the Pazo de Rubianes. The origin of the house of Rubianes dates from the Middle Ages, in the 12th century. Together with the manor house, in perfect condition, the Pazo de Rubianes has 40 hectares that include a garden with about 100 plant species, a unique woodland belt and an ‘Albariño’ vineyard of 21 hectares. There is written evidence that the first camellias, donated by the Duke of Caminha (Portugal), and the evergreen magnolias were planted in 1850.

In 1930, Dolores Urcola, Dowager Marchioness of Aranda, with the help of her daughters, designed and created the current geometric garden with a labyrinth layout. She was especially devoted to camellias, which she planted profusely. Nowadays in the garden grow beautiful specimens of Camellia japonica ‘Alba Plena', 'Bella Romana', 'Elegans', 'Grace Albritton', 'Hagoromo', 'Lavinia Maggi', 'Pomponia Alba', 'Pomponia Luctea' and 'Variegata', Camellia reticulata 'Arch of Triumph', 'Dr. Clifford Parks', 'Francie L.' and 'Rosalia de Castro', Camellia hiemalis 'Showa Supreme', and Camellia wabisuke 'Tarôkaja'.

It is a garden with monumental and singular trees, such as the specimens of Araucaria heterophylla, Calocedrus decurrens, Cinnamomum camphora, Cryptomeria japonica, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus piperita, Fraxinus angustifolia, Magnolia grandiflora, Picea abies and Quercus rubra. Other tree species of interest are Bauhinia variegata, Buxus sempervirens, Fraxinus excelsior, Phoenix dactylifera, Picea pungens 'Glauca', Pinus strobus, Podocarpus totara, Quercus suber and Taxodium distichum.

During the International Camellia Congress, held in Pontevedra in March 2014, the garden of Pazo de Rubianes was designated as Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society.

8) House-Museum of Rosalía de Castro

The House-Museum of Rosalía de Castro is in the city of Padrón (province of A Coruña, NW Spain). Rosalía de Castro, a reknown writer, lived there until her death in 1885.

The house is surrounded by a green space that, in times of Rosalía, was an orchard. Today it is a recreation of a garden at that time (late 19th century).  The camellias now growing in the garden were planted after the death of the writer. Specimens of Camellia reticulata 'Rosalia de Castro' and of three Portuguese cultivars of Camellia japonica, namely 'Mary Irene', 'Magnolia Rosea' and 'Pomponia Portuensis', are among those of greatest interest. There are also plants of Camellia japonica 'Alba Plena ', 'Incarnata', 'Peonia Superba', 'Sophia' and 'Thelma Dale'.
In the garden one specimen of Ficus carica included in the Galician Catalogue of Singular Trees and several monumental trees of Ficus carica, Erythrina crista-galli, Phytolacca dioica and Laurus nobilis can be admired. Also of interest are a tree of Castanea sativa and one Quercus robur, descendant of the oak of Guernica.

9).- Pazo de Oca

In the municipality of A Estrada (province of Pontevedra, NW Spain), close to the banks of the Ulla river, is the Pazo de Oca, the most visited Pazo of Galicia. It has two gardens: one horticultural and one geometric. The horticultural garden, with plots of various crops, is crossed diagonally by the ensemble of wash-house, river and mill, and in turn the latter is bordered by a line of ancient boxwood hedges and citrus trees.

The geometric garden comprises seven groups of exceptional flora: the most outstanding tree is a specimen of Camellia reticulata 'Captain Rawes', undoubtedly the oldest and largest camellia in Europe, together with other magnificent specimens of Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans', Taxus baccata, evergreen magnolias, Lagerstroemia indica, Sequioa sempervirens, Acer pseudoplatanus, Prunus laurocerasus and a high number of ancient trees of Camellia japonica that shelter walking paths. The Carreira do Conde (Count`s walk), a tree-lined path, borders the other side of the garden, which is an English garden with a meadow, a path of Tilia platyphyllos trees, and an ornamental forest, in which there are splendid specimens of Liriodendron tulipifera.

The garden has been enriched in recent years with more than 1,000 plants of different cultivars of Camellia species and hybrids. Particularly impressive is a hedge in the shape of a labyrinth comprising different cultivars of Camellia japonica and a hedge 250 m long of more than 300 plants of Camellia japonica 'Montblanc'. Other outstanding camellias in the geometric garden are specimens of Camellia wabisuke 'Uraku' and Camellia japonica 'Alfredo Allen', 'Anemone Alba', 'Luíz Van-Zeller', 'Pompone', 'Pomponia Estriata Portuensis' and 'Pomponia Portuensis'.

Trees of Tilia platyphyllos (path of lime trees) and the specimens of Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans' and Buxus sempervirens are included in the Galician Catalogue of Singular Trees. Considered monumental trees are specimens of Quercus suber, Buxus sempervirens and Camellia japonica 'Bicolor'.

10) Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla

In the municipality of Vedra (province of A Coruña, NW Spain), on the bank of the Ulla river, is the Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla.

The garden was created from 1600 to 1700 and is for many the most fascinating ornamental botanical space in Galicia, due to its floristic content and landscape value. Boxwood was one of the species initially planted, covering almost the entire garden. In the mid-18th century, the oldest box trees were over 1.5 m in circumference and several of them were cut down for shipbuilding in England.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Iván Armada (known as Uncle Iván), an ancestor of the current owner, inherited the property, finding a garden already structured. He greatly increased the collection of plants, especially camellias. Around 1885, he planted camellias obtained from France (Vilmorin seed producer), Portugal, Belgium and England near other camellias already existing in the garden of over 7 m high. This is written in his notebook still preserved and means that the first camellias in the garden could have been planted in the second half of the eighteenth century. Camellias rapidly replaced the boxwood in the garden, as yearly seeds produced many new plants, forming a natural camellieto, that indicates their excellent acclimation to soil and weather conditions of Galicia.

 In the garden grow many monumental and singular specimens of Camellia japonica, Olea europea (hundreds of trees over 700 years old), Buxus sempervirens, Magnolia grandiflora, Dicksonia antarctica, Cryptomeria japonica, Liriodendron tulipifera, Phytolacca dioica, Quercus robur var. stricta, Washingtonia robusta, and Citrus aurantium.

There are outstanding specimens of Camellia japonica 'Adolpho F. Möller', 'Alba Delecta', 'Alba Plena', 'Anemoniflora', 'Fimbriata', 'Jeronymo da Costa', 'Lavinia Maggi', 'Mazzuchelli', 'Madame Louis van Houtte' and 'Vergine di Collebeato', Camellia sinensis and Camellia wabisuke 'Tarôkaja'.

11) Pazo de Mariñán

The Pazo de Mariñán is situated in a large area known as As Mariñas de Betanzos (province of A Coruña, NW Spain). The property occupies 17 hectares located on one side of the Mandeo River in a place known as Mariñán, in the municipality of Bergondo.

The garden is divided into two parts that extend to both sides of a monumental geometric parterre of Buxus sempervirens, consisting of a network of perpendicular internal drives. This unique network of boxwood is a masterpiece of gardening; it has a geometric desing that comprises sixteen rectangles in four plots, with boxwood trimmed into stars, flowers, crosses, rings and shields. This part of the garden, of French style, also includes the entrance avenue, the path of Buxus sempervirens and Platanus x hispanica, the guard house, the courtyard of the chapel and the pier landscaped with flower beds.

At one side of the monumental boxwood parterre, the garden exhibits monumental old specimens of Taxus baccata, Arbutus unedo and Myrtus communis, most of which are included in the Galician Catalogue of Singular Trees. Also noteworthy are the reedbed and several monumental and singular specimens of Camellia japonica, particularly those arranged in clusters of 8+1, Platanus acerifolia, which can reach 50 m in height, Eucalyptus globulus, Populus nigra, Fraxinus ornus, Carya illinoensis and Phoenix dactylifera. At the other side of the parterre, there are beautiful azalea, Japanese laurel, groups of ivy and roses, and also ancient yews.
There are also specimens of Camellia japonica ‘Alba Plena’, ‘Bella Romana’, ‘Dom Pedro V, Rei de Portugal’, ‘Prince Eugene Napoleon’, ‘Rubra simplex’, ‘Sangre de Pichón’ and ‘Scipione l`Africano’.

12) Alameda of Santiago de Compostela

The Alameda Park is the oldest public garden and the main green lung of the city of Santiago de Compostela (province of A Coruña, NW Spain).

The park was designed in the early nineteenth century and covered 8.5 hectares. It is divided in three distinct areas that contain a magnificent architectural and botanical heritage: the Carballeira de Santa Susana (Oak wood of Saint Susan), the Campo da Estrela (Field of the Star) and the Paseo da Ferradura (Walking path of the Horseshoe). The Carballeira de Santa Susana, located in the center of the park, consists of a group of more than 300 specimens of Quercus robur, some of them ancient, which surround the church of the same name.
Although the design does not comply with any of the usual types of garden, it has elements of the French garden, such as symmetrical parterres and hedges, and of the English garden, such as the Carballeira de Santa Susana.

There are 66 specimens of Camellia japonica, some of them over a hundred years old, which could have been planted during the Agricultural, Industrial and Artistic Exhibition held in the city of Santiago de Compostela in 1858.  Among the identified cultivars are ‘Angela Cocchi’, ‘Bella Romana’, ‘Covina’, ‘Dom Pedro II’, ‘Federici’, ‘Incarnata’, ‘Magnolia Rubra’, ‘Montironi’, ‘Pomponia Alba Monstruosa’, ‘Pomponia Estriata Portuense’, ‘Pomponia Portuensis’, ‘Sangre de Pichón’ and ‘Vilar D’Allen’.

In the park, there are also specimens included in the Galician Catalogue of Singular Trees: some magnificent trees of Eucalyptus globulus, one tree of Abies nordmanniana planted to commemorate the visit of Eva Duarte de Perón in June 1947, and the trees of Tilia tomentosa growing in the Campo da Estrela. Other outstanding specimens, recognized as monumental by Dacal and Izco (2003), are the oaks of Santa Susana and trees of Erythrina crista-galli, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Populus nigra, Robinia pseudoacacia and Sophora japonica.


There is a rich heritage of gardens with camellias in Galicia, which also possess monumental specimens of other plant species that enhance their appeal.  The present research has enabled the creation of a touristic route of winter gardens in NW Spain, the Camellia Route of Galicia, making camellias a symbol of cultural identity within the tourism brand Galicia. The twelve gardens included in the Route are romantic gardens that have in common camellias, stone and water, and must be seen to be appreciated. Every garden has, however, its own identity: it is a unique circuit of great tourist, cultural, historical and artistic interest.

Camellias can contribute to promote tourism within the tourism brand Galicia for its uniqueness (in Spain, they are found almost exclusively in Galicia), beauty, the great diversity of cultivars with different sizes and colors of flowers and flowering periods, and the huge size of the oldest specimens. They constitute also a product that can promote the deseasonalisation of tourism, as the best time to see them is during flowering, which, in gardens with different species and cultivars, can cover the months of autumn, winter and early spring.


This work was financed by Diputación de Pontevedra (Spain) and grants PGIDIT03RAG60301PR and PGIDIT06RAG26103PR (Xunta de Galicia, Spain). We thank Ana Neves for technical assistance.


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