Camellia Colors: What Colors Do Camellias Bloom?

Thinking of adding some camellias to your garden but can't decide what color to plant? Camellias can bloom in many colors, with red being the most commonly thought of. In this article, gardening expert and camellia enthusiast Melissa Strauss looks at all the different colors camellias can bloom in.

camellia colors


Native to Southeast Asia and Japan, camellias have traveled a long way to become a staple in gardens throughout the United States, and in many other countries as well. Their winter blooming habit makes them highly desirable as they provide color and beauty during the months when most flowering plants are dormant.

Camellias can be grown as a dense and attractive privacy hedge, a small to medium-sized flowering tree, and as a standalone evergreen shrub in the landscape. Preferring to live in part shade, camellias like well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH (5.5-6.5.) and different varieties thrive from as far north as zone 6a, to as far south as tropical zone 11.

With more than hundreds of different varieties and thousands of hybrids, there is a wide assortment of shapes, sizes, and flower formations to choose from.

Camellias bloom in many variations of red and pink, with quite a few white varieties, a handful of yellow, and not a small number of hybrid varieties with multicolored blooms. They are easy to find at local nurseries, as well as through online retailers, and are moderately easy to grow and maintain. Let’s look at some popular varieties of camellias and revel in their many beautiful colors and combinations.

Pink Camellias

In the pink color family, camellias run the entire spectrum from pale blush to deep fuchsia. These lovely evergreen shrubs covered in blushing blooms have come to grace many southern gardens and landscapes.

A bowl of pink camellias inside the house can bring an ethereal loveliness to a dining room or entry table. Always classy, pink camellias are the belle of the garden in wintertime.

Marjorie Magnificent

Close-up of “Marjorie Magnificent” Camellia flowers. Pale peach anemone flowers with bright yellow stamens. Dark green foliage and unopened camellia buds in the background.
This camellia produces incredibly delicate pink flowers with wavy petals and yellow stamens.
Scientific Name: C. japonica ‘Marjorie Magnificent
  • Bloom Time: Fall Through Early Winter
  • Geographical Location: Florida, USA
  • Plant Size: 10’-12’ tall and 3’-10’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Part Sun
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

This blushing beauty of the japonica species originated in Pensacola, Florida. The flowers are palest pink and anemone form, with many layers of both smooth edged and ruffled petals. Stamens are mostly obscured, but the paleness of these petals allows for a slight yellow tint to show through the ruffled inner petals.

Marjorie Magnificent makes a wonderful small tree, growing to an average height of 10’-12’ and tolerates part sun, but will bloom best with a fair amount of shade.

Coral Delight

Close-up of a camellia х 'Coral Delight'. Semi-double flower of dark coral-pink color with long golden stamens. Blurred background of dark green leaves and coral camellias.
Coral Delight blooms with coral semi-double flowers reminiscent of hibiscus.
Scientific Name:  Camellia x ‘Coral Delight
  • Bloom Time: Early to Late Winter
  • Geographical Location: California, USA
  • Plant Size: 6’-8’ tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Filtered Sun
  • Plant Zone: 8-10

Coral Delight is a wonderful variety for more reasons than one. The most obvious is their bold, tropical coral shade, an uncommon color in the world of camellias. The blooms on Coral Delight are reminiscent of a hibiscus. Their large (5”) semi double blooms have similar rippled edges and open fully to expose a cluster of long pollen tipped stamens.

As an added bonus, this camellia drops its own spent blooms, eliminating the need for deadheading. Blooming from January to March, this variety can tolerate a fair amount of sun compared to other camellias.

Winter’s Joy

Close-up of two Winter's Joy camellia flowers with bright pink petals and golden stamens. These incredible flowers look great against dark green glossy foliage.
This hardy camellia variety produces bright, orchid-pink flowers.
Scientific Name: Camellia x ‘Winter’s Joy
  • Bloom Time: Late Fall through Early Winter
  • Geographical Location: Maryland, USA
  • Plant Size: 6’ tall and 4’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Filtered Sun
  • Plant Zone: 6-9

This sasanqua variety is known for its remarkable cold tolerance. It can be grown as far north as zone 6a if protected from freezing winds. The blooms on this variety are bright, orchid pink with double flower formation with fully exposed stamens and attract hummingbirds in the cooler months when food is scarce.

Blooms occur in late fall and into the early winter months. Topping out around 6’ tall, this variety makes a beautiful hedge with its dense, deep green, serrated foliage.


Close-up of camellia 'Kanjiro' blooming in the garden. Large dark pink flower with double petals and delicate yellow stamens. Dark foliage in the background.
This fast growing camellia has large dark pink flowers with double petals.
Scientific Name: C. Sasanqua ‘Kanjiro
  • Bloom Time: Late Fall through Winter
  • Geographical Location: Japan
  • Plant Size: 10’ tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Filtered Sun
  • Plant Zone: 7-10

Kanjiro is a low maintenance, fast growing camellia of the sasanqua species. Large, deep pink, double petal blooms appear in fall and open fully to reveal a cluster of long, delicate stamens. This variety can grow quite large, as big as 10’ tall and wide, and makes a glorious focal point in the winter landscape.

Red Camellias

Camellias also bloom in many shades of red, from crimson to deep burgundy. These vibrant flowers make a statement around the winter holidays and bring a stunning festivity to the garden.

Many camellia varieties make wonderful cut flowers as well and last a long time when floated in water or used in floral arrangements and bouquets. Red camellias are an absolute dream for December Brides with a flair for the dramatic.

Black Tie

Camellia Japonica 'Black Tie' in flower. Its beautiful flower has double petal formation, dark red colour and well-organized and neatly graduated.The bush has dark green glossy foliage.
‘Black Tie’ produces compact bright scarlet flowers with double petals, well organized and neatly graduated.
Scientific Name: C. Japonica ‘Black Tie
  • Bloom Time: Early to Mid-Spring
  • Geographical Location: Georgia, USA
  • Plant Size: 10’-12’ tall and 3’-10’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Part Sun
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

This japonica variety is as red as Snow White’s pout. A bright scarlet, the blooms are small on this compact plant, but they are stunning. The flowers sport a formal double petal formation, organized, and neatly graduated.

Tight layers of concentric petals open in late winter and early spring. This late bloomer is a stunning small shrub which produces a grand quantity of flowers.

Black Magic

Camellia japonica "Black Magic" has unique double, deep garnet-colored flowers with almost black veins on the petals. The flower is on a white background.
This unique camellia variety produces deep garnet-colored flowers in late spring.
Scientific Name: C. Japonica ‘Black Magic
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring
  • Geographical Location: North America
  • Plant Size: 12’ tall and 10’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-10

It would be difficult to discuss camellia colors without bringing up Black Magic. This unique variety of japonica has mesmerizing, deep garnet-colored flowers that bloom in late Spring, making them one of the later blooming varieties.

These stunning blooms have a shiny, almost artificial quality. Their large, rose form, double petal flowers are showstoppers set against their deep green, serrated, holly like leaves.

White Camellias

The color of newly fallen snow, these are some of the loveliest varieties of white camellias around. These elegant varieties are very versatile, blending seamlessly into any color scheme. But don’t expect them to be ordinary, camellias don’t do ordinary. These white varieties are heavenly!


Close-up of a C. Japonica “Victory White” - white peony-shaped camellia flower with golden stamens in the center. Blurred background with dark green camellia leaves. The sun's rays shine gently on the bush.
This incredibly delicate pure white camellia blooms in January and lasts until spring.
Scientific Name: C. Japonica ‘Victory White
  • Bloom Time: Late Winter through Early Spring
  • Geographical Location: Japan
  • Plant Size: 8’-14’ tall and 6’-10’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Part Sun
  • Plant Zone:  7-10

Truly a victory in hybridization, this pristine, white camellia blooms as far north as zone 6, when protected from freezing winds. Peony form blooms are pure white with a glowing yellow center. Blooms show up in January and last well into the spring. An older variety, this dense evergreen is harder to come by, but worth the effort.


Close-up of a peony-shaped C. Lutchuensis “Scentuous” camellia flower ruffled and delicate, mostly white, with a soft blush on the outer petals. Golden stamens stick out from the center of the flower. Blurred light brown background.
‘Scentuous’ produces fragrant peony-shaped ruffled flowers of pale white with a soft blush on the edges of the petals.
Scientific Name:  C. Lutchuensis ‘Scentuous
  • Bloom Time: Late Winter through Spring
  • Geographical Location: China and Taiwan
  • Plant Size: 2’-3’ tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun
  • Plant Zone: 8-10

Gardenia lovers rejoice in this wonderfully fragrant winter bloomer. In case the name didn’t tip you off, these are fragrant blooms which are a rarity in the camellia world.

The loose peony form blooms are ruffled and delicate, predominantly white, they have a soft blush to their outermost petals. This plant is smaller in stature and blooms so profusely that the branches are weighed down creating a weeping characteristic.

Yellow Camellias

Yellow is the bright and cheerful color of sunshine, but it is very rare in terms of camellia flowers. With only a handful of yellow varieties, they are highly prized and hard to come by, with only a handful of varieties that can survive outside of the tropics.

C. Chrysantha

Close-up of a bright yellow Chrysantha camellia flower. Single-petalled golden flower with golden stamens in the center. Blurred green background.
This incredibly bright species of camellia blooms with small yellow flowers from November to May.
Scientific Name: C. Chrysantha
  • Bloom Time:  Late Fall through Early Spring
  • Geographical Location: Southern China and Vietnam
  • Plant Size: 12’ tall
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Part Sun
  • Plant Zone: 11

Chrysantha is a species rather than a specific variety, and is noteworthy for its characteristic, small yellow flowers, and usefulness as a type of tea. Sadly, it doesn’t do well outside of its native habitat, and only thrives in zone 11. The small, single petal form, golden flowers bloom from November to March.

Jury’s Yellow

Close-up of three flowers on a Camellia x williamsii “Jury’s Yellow” bush. Large anemone-shaped flowers, creamy white outer petals, and pale yellow inner petals with an admixture of bright yellow stamens. In the background are dark green leaves.
Jury’s Yellow produces large, ruffled cream-colored flowers with short petals of pale yellow in the center, blended with bright golden stamens.
Scientific Name: Camellia x williamsii ‘Jury’s Yellow
  • Bloom Time: Late Winter through Early Spring
  • Geographical Location: New Zealand
  • Plant Size: 8’-12’ tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full to Part Shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

This Camellia x williamsii hybrid is highly sought after for its unique color. Outside of the c. chrysantha species, yellow is a rare color for camellias. Jury’s Yellow produces large, anemone form flowers.

The outer petals are creamy white and the inner petaloids are a soft yellow mingled with bright yellow stamens which contribute to the overall golden glow of these flowers. This late winter bloomer prefers milder temperatures but can survive as far north as zone 7.

Variegated Camellias

Some camellias have the stunning quality of variegated flowers. Blooming in more than one color, these varieties are eye catching and lots of fun. Bred specifically for their colorful blooms, here are some stunning variegated camellias.

Governor Mouton

Close-up of a dual color Japonica “Governor Mouton” camellia. The flower has bright red petals in the form of peony petals with irregular touches of white throughout. Light green camellia leaves in the background.
This cold hardy camellia produces incredibly beautiful large bright red flowers with irregular white spots throughout.
Scientific Name: C. Japonica ‘Governor Mouton
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Geographical Location: Louisiana
  • Plant Size: 10’-15’ tall and 8’-10’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full Shade to Part Sun
  • Plant Zone: 6-9

Dating back to mid-1800s in Louisiana, this splashy variety makes a statement in the garden. This cold hardy camellia can live as far north as zone 6b.

The blooms are large and peony petal form. The large splashy blooms are bright red with irregular touches of white throughout. This heritage plant blooms in late winter and into the spring months.

Lady Vansittart

Close-up of a camellia Japonica “Lady Vansittart”. Semi-double flower of pale pink color with bright red veins and white tips on the petals. Bright yellow stamens are in the center of the flower. Dark green glossy camellia foliage in the background.
This stunning camellia has unique flowers that combine soft pink with bright red veins and white edges.
Scientific Name: C. Japonica ‘Lady Vansittart
  • Bloom Time: Late Winter through Early Spring
  • Geographical Location: Japan
  • Plant Size: 8’-12’ tall and 6’-10’ wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun, Filtered Sun
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

This heirloom cultivar has a look all its own. While there are quite a few varieties of camellia that are variegated in red or pink with white, this camellia has the stunning combination of cotton candy pink streaked with bright red on its large semi-double blooms.

The flowers have a tropical appearance, much like a hibiscus, opening to reveal a cluster or bright yellow, pollen covered stamens. Lady Vansittart likes morning sun and some shelter from afternoon heat.

Nuccio’s Pearl

Close-up of Camellia Japonica 'Nuccio's Pearl'. A large double flower of white-pink color with slightly pointed star-shaped petals. These densely spaced petals are pure white in the center, with the outer petals fading to a pale pink that becomes darker towards the outer edges. This stunning flower stands out against the green foliage.
Nuccio’s Pearl produces double flowers with star-shaped petals that are white in the center and fade to a pale pink that becomes darker towards the outer edges.
Scientific Name: C. Japonica ‘Nuccio’s Pearl
  • Bloom Time: Winter
  • Geographical Location: California, USA
  • Plant Size: 6’-8’ tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Part Shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

Rounding out our list is a breathtaking variety of japonica. Nuccio’s Pearl is a fully formal double bloom with slightly pointed, starlike petals.

These densely layered petals are pure white in the center, and the outer petals fade into a pale pink which deepens in color toward the outer edges. These stunning blooms are set off dramatically against deep green foliage. Hardy in zones 8-10, this is a variety that will dazzle passersby.

Final Thoughts

It’s not hard to see why so many gardeners treasure and enjoy tending to their camellias. These versatile blooming shrubs fulfill many purposes in the garden landscape. With so many colors and varieties to choose from, it’s no wonder these wonderful plants have continued to grow in popularity and availability for such an enduring amount of time.

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