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President's Message 2022

Gianmario Motta ICS PresidentThis is my first message as President of ICS. I hope to be a good successor of Guan Kayun and Pat Short.

2021 was a year of important achievements. The International Camellia Register incorporated the pictures of the previous Camellia Web Register, becoming the largest illustrated database of camellia varieties with over 10,000 illustrations. This taxonomic research will continue. Professor Wang, our Registrar, is working on an illustrated database of species, and, in parallel, on a database of ancient camellia plants, an information now scattered in various publications, thus providing a background to our Committee for Historic Camellia Conservation, chaired by Dr Utick and for the various initiatives emerging in Europe and Asia. Moreover, such database will keep an inventory and a map of species distribution, for both ex-situ and in-situ conservation.

Our forthcoming Journal, edited by Frieda Delvaux, reflects a worldwide view. A comprehensive survey on the camellia species in southern Vietnam and descriptions of Vietnam species add new inputs to our knowledge. The section on regional activities shows a great viability of ICS throughout the world. To further stimulate cross-fertilization of initiatives, I would propose to publish these reports on the website in a dedicated section. Last not least, thanks to Professor Wang, the Chinese version of the Journal will strengthen our presence in China.

Frieda Delvaux, our new Web Manager, is studying a multilingual version of our website. Also, the web will be more interactive, enabling regions and interest groups to post them reports directly and allowing discussion groups. We are looking forward to this innovation.

We are working on the 2023 congress in Italy. The involved International Gardens of Excellence (Camellietum Compitese, Villa Anelli, Villa Motta, and Locarno Camellia Park) are increasing their camellia collections. The public bodies involved, respectively, in the Pre-congress (Capannori Municipality), Congress (Verbania Municipality) and Post-Congress (Locarno Tourism Agency), are enthusiastically cooperating. For the worst COVID case, we are preparing an online option for the paper sessions and an October schedule for visits (all our gardens have a big collection of sasanquas).

Finally, I will propose new initiatives to be discussed with the directors. Let me shortly mention them. Camellias should become a popular plant for the young generations and for urban terraces. Hence, we should promote camellias with schools and, also, advert it as an easy plant – super-early cultivars, sasanquas, fragrant camellias and everblooming hybrids can fit this role. An international interest group interacting on the web and/or social networks could carry on this “camellia education”. Such camellia popularization also requires new easy and pleasant cultivars (a kind of “Next Generation Camellia”) that can overcome the drawbacks of ciborinia – the flower blight of camellias.

- Gianmario Motta.
ICS President


President's Message 2022 - 会長のメッセージ2022


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