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Midyear 2024 President’s Message

Dear Members and Directors,

I hope this message finds you all well. Let me recap some key points.


Our colleague Professor Tanaka is preparing the 2025 Japan Congress. You will find details in the homepage of the ICS website. Thank you for your work, Professor Tanaka!


Our new Treasurer, Jason Dean, started on June 1st. Thank you Jason for accepting the job. Our former Treasurer Clare Million (thank you Clare!) is still assisting us in the handover. Our objective is unifying the ICS bank accounts with an online reporting.  Donations reached the cumulative amount of USD 34,000 and allow us a balanced financial plan.

In 2024 the mandate of some officers expires and /or should be extended. We are currently collecting the votes for the nominations of the Vice Presidents and of President for 2025-27. Results will be published in July on the ICS website.

Camellia Gardens of Excellence (GOE) are a cornerstone of ICS, because they educate people about the splendor of camellias. In 2024, we shall review some GOEs. Reviews are mandatory every ten years and are intended to ensure that GOEs maintain excellence standards. The review is made by a Director of the Region and a Director of another Region. The review reports are mailed to the ICS Board for approval. As approved in the 2023 Directors’ meeting, reviewed and new GOEs will pay an annual membership fee of 200 USD.


Sasanquas are a key species in the realm of ornamental camellias. With over 1.800 registered cultivars (sasanqua, hiemalis, vernalis and sasanqua hybrids) sasanquas are the second camellia ornamental species. Though sometimes believed to be tender, sasanquas grow well in temperate climates, in zones 7/8.  Not only they stand hot weather and full sun but, also, they survive with -14C° (7 °F). Additionally, given their blooming season, they are not prone to flower blight. Even if their individual flowers may not be as stunning as in japonicas, sasanquas bloom profusely and many of them are fragrant. Finally, sasanquas have a high nectar content, and provide a food source for bees and insects during the cold season. Not surprisingly, they are a growing success in temperate regions such as Italy, France, Spain and Germany, where sasanqua shows are on the agenda in October-November.

ICS published a book “Splendid Sasanquas, an International Ornament”, edited by Professor Tanaka and co-authored by an international team of ICS experts The first print is sold out. We expect to sell the remaining copies of the second print this autumn, mainly in Europe. We are also preparing a volume 2 that will add sasanqua cultivars, particularly form the US and Oceania. We hope to present the second volume in 2025, at the Tokyo Congress. 


The participations at flower shows promotes ICS and camellia societies also with younger people. For instance, the Italian Camellia Society organized a booth in large flower shows, which altogether reached around 50,000 visitors. This fee-free participation let public get familiar with camellias, and new members joined the Society. 

Communication through agile social networks is very important. We started with Facebook and Instagram. We currently have 442 followers on Facebook and 608 followers on Instagram. Through reposts, we can showcase various activities from all regions. We welcome further support from different countries to feature more reels, as well as videos on YouTube. 


Prof. Gianmario Motta, ICS President

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