Camellia Oleifera 5 Seeds, Fragrant Edible Tea Oil Shrub Or Small Tree

The Plant Attraction


Camellia Oleifera
Also known as: tea oil Camellia

This beautiful species is widely distributed in China and is cultivated extensively there, notable as an important source of edible oil obtained from its seeds and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in forests, thickets, banks of streams and foothills at elevations of 500 to 1,300 metres.

It looks much similar to Camellia sasanqua except the dark green, evergreen leaves are a bit larger, three to five inches long and two to three inches wide. Single, white sometimes pink tipped fragrant flowers are produced in mid to late fall, are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees. It is a large shrub or small tree which will reach a height of 20 feet at a slow rate with thin, upright, multiple trunks and branches. The crown forms a rounded or oval vase when lower branches are removed. 

The seeds of Camellia oleifera can be pressed to yield tea oil, a sweetish seasoning and cooking oil that should not be confused with tea tree oil, an essential oil that originates from the leaves of a different plant, which is used for medical and cosmetic purposes and is toxic when ingested. In tea oil, oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid of the omega 9 type, comprises 88% of the total fatty acid content. Tea oil is also known as "Tea Seed Oil" when sold as cooking oil in supermarkets throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

It can also be used in textile manufacture, soap making and as an illuminant. Camellia oil is also traditionally used to protect Japanese woodworking tools and cutlery from corrosion and is currently sold for that purpose.

Suitable for light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, and prefers to be moist and well drained. Also suitable for acid and neutral type soils. It can grow in semi shade (light woodland) or no shade. Grow this elegant shrub in a border or woodland garden, as a specimen, or in a container. USDA zone 6-9 and is frost tender. Germination usually takes 1-3 months.

This offer is for 5 seeds.