/keuh meel"yeuh, -mee"lee euh/, n.
any of several shrubs of the genus Camellia, esp. C. japonica, native to Asia, having glossy evergreen leaves and white, pink, red, or variegated roselike flowers.
[1745-55; named after G. J. Camellus (1661-1706), Jesuit missionary, who brought it to Europe; see -IA]

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Any of the East Asian evergreen shrubs and trees that make up the genus Camellia in the tea family (Theaceae), most notable for three ornamental flowering species and for C. sinensis (sometimes called Thea sinensis), the source of tea.

The common camellia (C. japonica) is the best-known, particularly for its double (many-petaled) cultivated varieties. The tea plant (C. sinensis), reaching 30 ft (9 m) in the wild but in cultivation kept to a low, mounded shrub, bears fragrant white, yellow-centred flowers.

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▪ plant genus
 genus of about 120 species of East Asian evergreen shrubs and trees, belonging to the tea family (Theaceae), most notable for a few ornamental flowering species and for C. sinensis (sometimes called Thea sinensis), the source of tea. The common camellia (C. japonica) is the best known, particularly for its double (many-petaled) cultivated varieties, whose overlapping petals range in colour from white through pink to red and variegated. In the wild form five to seven petals surround a mass of yellow stamens, with sepals dropping as the petals open. The tree has glossy green, oval leaves usually about 10 cm (4 inches) long and reaches a height of about 9 metres (30 feet).

      A similar but shorter species, C. reticulata, has flowers to 15 cm (6 inches) wide and dull green leaves. C. sasanqua, a loose straggling shrub with slightly fragrant, 5-cm- (2-inch-) wide flowers, can tolerate dryness and alkaline soils. It blooms in autumn and frequently is grown as a wall or hedge plant.

      The tea (tea production) plant (C. sinensis) reaches 9 metres (30 feet) but in cultivation is kept to a low, mounded shrub, often pruned back to encourage development of young leaves. The flowers are fragrant, yellow-centred, white, and about 4 cm (1.6 inches) wide. See also tea.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • camellia — [kə mēl′yə, kəmē′lē ə] n. [ModL, after Camelli, It form of the name of G. J. Kamel (1661 1706), Moravian Jesuit missionary to the Far East] 1. any of a genus (Camellia) of Asiatic evergreen trees and shrubs of the tea family, with glossy leaves… …   English World dictionary

  • Camellĭa — (C. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Ternstroemiaceae Camellieae, Monadelphia Polyandria L., nach dem Jesuiten G. J. Kamel (s.d.) benannt, mit fünfblätterigem Kelche u. mehreren dachziegelartigen Deckblättern, abfallenden, 5 unten… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Camellĭa — L. (Kamellie, Kamelie), Gruppe der Gattung Thea aus der Familie der Theazeen, benannt nach dem Jesuiten G. I. Camellus, der 1639 auf den Philippinen Pflanzen sammelte. Die Kamelien sind der Teestaude ähnliche Sträucher im Himalaja, in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Camellia — Camellĭa, Pflanzengattg., s. Kamelie …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • camellia — 1753, named by Linnæus from Latinized form of G.J. Kamel (1661 1706), Jesuit who described the flora of the island of Luzon …   Etymology dictionary

  • camellia — is spelt with two l s, despite its pronunciation kǝ mee li ǝ …   Modern English usage

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