Boss Panda explained that there were several varieties of camellia, which were all in the same family as the tea plant, but that the Sasanqua camellia, known in Japan as ‘sazanka’ [さざんか] flowered early in the season, sometimes as early as October, making for a long flowering season overall when combined with others from the family, such as camellia japonica, which generally flowered from January/ February time.
“In fact, it is a popular street corner flower in Tokyo, where there are over 5000 of them planted as street shrubs, even more than the camellia japonica, probably because of the long blooming period”. Kiku thought for a moment, and then said “But why don’t you see them in flower displays? I would have thought that with there being less flowers around that they would be popular seasonal flowers for indoor arrangements.” “Ah, well that is one difference they have to other camellias,” explained the big bear, “they drop their petals soon after being cut, and when blooming naturally, their petals drop one by one, leaving scattered petals everywhere. So they are best enjoyed in the city whilst out walking…”