Mid-year 2017 NEWSLETTER

New Cultivars

By the end of May, 2017, 29 new camellia cultivars were registered. Among these new cultivars, 15 were from U.S.A., 7 from China, 4 from Japan, 2 from Germany and 1 from France. New cultivars from Australia and New Zealand were not included. Over two hundred new cultivars which bloom all the year round have been bred by the Palm Landscape Architecture Co., Ltd., China and wait to be registered.

Committee for Historic Camellia Conservation

It has been proposed that the International Camellia Society formally establish a committee focused on the conservation of historic camellias, in order to take advantage of growing awareness within the Society of historic cultivars around the world, the emerging new knowledge about these historic camellias and the cultures that produced them, and initiatives to actively propagate and conserve such cultivars. It is envisaged that such a committee would replace an informal working group which has had an interest in preservation of historic camellias since the congress in Kurume in 2010. It would be known as the ICS Committee for Historic Camellia Conservation.

The proposal was sent to all the directors and officers on 24 April, 2017. More than two thirds of the directors and officers responded and all positively. A number of directors and officers also submitted some helpful comments. I am considering all these comments and will nominate the Chair of the committee and ask for the Board of Directors to approve my nomination in due course.

News from Australia

The Camellia Ark Australia and Parkers Camellias are staging a major showcase popularising camellias and showing rare camellias at the Eden Gardens Indoor and Outdoor Centre, 307 Lane Cove Road Macquarie Park Sydney Australia. This is a new initiative aimed at introducing and popularising camellias to the general public in Sydney, and was held on Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June 2017, between 10.30 am-3 pm both days. Joe Neuschwanger, our new ICS Vice President, was a guest speaker. Dr. Stephen Utick will be addressing guides at the Sydney Botanic Gardens on camellias on 6 July.

Following the sad death of Barry Di Salvia, Mr Joe Neuschwanger has been nominated and approved to serve out the remainder of the current term of office as ICS Vice President for Oceania. Mr Neuschwanger has been an enthusiastic member of the ICS, attending the past three Congresses as a member of the Australian contingent and is planning to be in Nantes in 2018. You may also like to know that Mr Anthony Curry has been appointed as membership representative for Australia, to succeed Barry. Mr. Jim Powell has been appointed as a camellia registrar for Australia.

News from China

During camellia blooming season, many cities in China held camellia shows. The Yunnan Camellia Show was held from 31 December, 2016 to 15 March, 2017 in the Golden Temple Park, an ICS Garden of Excellence. This is the first provincial camellia show in Yunnan. More than 100 nurseries, gardens, organizations and individuals took part in the show and over 1200 camellia cultivars were exhibited. The show attracted about half a million visitors.

The Camellia Conservation Committee of China organized its first field investigation on ancient camellias in Dali, Yunnan. The investigation will last two years and the first field trip was conducted in May, 2017. The investigation area included Yongping, Yangbi, Weishan, Dali and Nanjian counties of Dali Prefecture, Yunnan province. Detailed information about the ancient camellia trees in the investigation area has been recorded and finally a database about the ancient camellia of Dali will be established. Scientists from China and Japan took part in the field trip. The following objectives are expecting to be achieved through the investigation project: 1. The present situation of the wild species and their distribution in Dali Prefecture; 2. The present status of ancient camellia trees and their history of cultivation in the area; 3. Compiling investigation report and proposing conservation actions. 4. Personal training, especially the training of young people.

News from Italy

Although it is still nearly five years to go, our Italian camellia colleagues are starting to prepare for the 2022 ICS congress. The Municipalities of Capannori (close to Lucca, Tuscany), Verbania (Lago Maggiore, close to Milan) and Orta San Giulio (Orta Lake, close to Milan) are jointly preparing the congress with the support of Andra Corneo and nurseries like the one of Andrea Zacchera. The congress sessions will be held in Verbania and the pre-congress tour will touch Toscana, specifically Lucca. In preparation for the ICS 2022 congress, the Camelletum of Compito, launched by the former ICS President Greg Davis in 2005 and now the ICS Garden of Excellence, has been enhanced, and it is now featuring some 800 camellias, and a specific section of sasanqua has been added. Orta, World Heritage Site and the home town of our vice-President Prof. Gianmario Motta, very close to the Congress venue, is laying down a new camellia garden on the lake side, which will be oriented to sasanqua, species, ever flowering hybrids and new Italian varieties. The newly laying down garden together with the garden of Prof. Motta will be open to all the participants of the congress (www.villamotta.it).

News from Japan

Our Japanese friends are busy with preparing the ICS 2020 congress in Goto. Detailed programs of the pre-congress, congress and post-congress will be announced next March in Nantes, France.

The Japanese Camellia Society has paid close attention to the protection and conservation of historic camellias and natural camellia resources. They started the registration of the Champion tree and the excellent old trees from last year. The results of the investigation have been announced recently in Japan.

News from New Zealand

The National Show for Camellias is to be held In Rotorua on the 11-13th August 2017. Our New Zealand colleagues welcome all camellia lovers around the world to attend the Annual Show and convention. Rotorua is one of the most visited cities and a favourite tourist attraction in New Zealand.

The recent Bulletin of NZ Camellia Society, issue 185, March 2017, reports on "testing the Pathogenicity of selected white-rot fungi against woody ornamental plants and their efficacy against Cibrinia camelliae kohn in limited field trials" caused great interesting and extensive reading.

News from Spain

I am very pleased to know that many events and activities had been conducted in Spain. The events and activities in Spain could be a good example for other regions to learn from.

On 2nd and 3rd March, 2017, the International Conference “Camellia and Landscape” was held at the Pazo de Rubianes, a Galician noble house located in Vilagarcía de Arousa, recognized as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence in 2014. The conference was organized by the Galician School of Landscape, the Provincial Government of Pontevedra and the Galician Regional Government and supported by the Spanish Camellia Society.

Over two days, renowned experts on camellias shared their knowledge and experience and provided information on the worldwide use of camellias for landscape purposes. Carmen Salinero, President of the Spanish Camellia Society, and Pilar Vela, both researchers working at the Estación Fitopatolóxica de Areeiro – a research centre belonging to the Provincial Council of Pontevedra –, and representatives of the ICS in Spain, Gao Jiyin, from the Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, in Zhejiang, China, Jacques Soignon, Manager of the Service Espaces Verts et Environnement (SEVE), in Nantes, France, José Collazo, President of the North-western Spain Association of Nursery Companies and Manager of Río Tollo Nursery, and Isabel Aguirre, director of the Galician School of Landscape all gave talks at the conference.

The promotional campaign “Camellias & Wines” was being conducted in the cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián, in the Basque Country. Selected stores were decorated following the romantic gardens and natural forests of the Galician pazos. These stores displayed tourist information on Galicia, but, in this case, a different and magical tour was offered, so that visitors would get away from their everyday routine through the route “Camellias & Wines”. This was also a unique opportunity to enjoy the camellia trees and taste the excellent white wine of the Designation of Origin Rías Baixas, popularly known as Albariño. In addition, these stores will have camellia cosmetics on sale.

From December to May, more than 25 camellia exhibitions are held in north-western Spain. These events could complement the visits to the gardens included in the Route of the Camellia.

The vocational training school Carlos Oroza, located in Pontevedra, was awarded the prize “Innovation on Education” for its project “Our camellia: funny and tasty”, supported by restaurants, nurseries and the Estación Fitopatolóxica do Areeiro. The aim of this project was to highlight and promote the camellia as a commercial product. To achieve this aim, this school is creating different recipes using tea, camellia oil, flowers and petals. In addition, they will train tourist guides on botany, gardening and landscape, always with the camellia as the common thread.

News from U.S.A.

The conference of International Camellia Society Working Group for Preservation and Protection of Historic Camellias and New Species of Camellia­­ held from 12 to 15 February, 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. There were 33 participants from Australia, Belgium, China, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, UK and U.S.A. registered plus our hosts of the conference from Baton Rouge Camellia Society. Participants shared their knowledge and experience on preservation and protection of historic camellias. The conference was very well organized and achieved very productive success. All the participants enjoyed their stay in the U.S. A. and appreciated the hosts of the conference very much.

The American Camellia Society had its annual general membership meeting April 5-8 in Newberg, Oregon with very good attendance from all camellia growing areas of the country.

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Mid-year 2017 Newsletter

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