Outline of Exhibition

Winter Flowers "Camellia Sasanqua"

The Camellia sasanqua is native to Japan and is one of few plants, including Camellia japonica, which color gardens during desolate wintry scenes. At the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, Camellia sasanqua has been exhibited since 2001 as part of the special program “traditional seasonal plants.” It also includes the unique varieties known as “Edo Camellia sasanqua” and “Higo Camellia sasanqua”.

Camellia sasanquas are broadly divided into three groups: the “Camellia sasanqua group,” which is close to the native species; the “Camellia x hiemalis group,” which is regarded as the seedling or progeny of Shishigashira; and the “Camellia x vernalis group,” which is regarded as a natural cross-breed of Camellia sasanqua and Camellia japonica or its progeny. Camellia sasanqua blooms from mid-October to February the following year by grouping it in the above-mentioned order. All these varieties were selected from variants of seedling, and it can be said that the methods for maintaining and spreading such varieties considerably characterize Japanese gardening culture.

At this Botanical Garden, focusing on the relationship between people and Camellia sasanqua from aspects of both genetic and cultural resources, we have studied living plants and historical materials together and exhibited the results. This year, under the theme of “Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua as seen in daily life,” the following panel exhibitions are available : a distribution map of the growing centers of Thea sinensis and Camellia japonica in South China; picture books and scrolls depicting Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua, which were popular among the upper classes in the Edo period (1600 - 1868); the popularization of Camellia japonica and Camellia sasanqua in Japan; and photos of dwarf Higo Camellia trees (bonsai).

Period Nov 26 (Tue), 2019- Jan 26 (Sun), 2020
Venue Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, National Museum of Japanese History
Admissions ¥100
Groups of 20 or more: ¥50 per person
* Free admission for children high school age and younger
Hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no entrance after 4:00 p.m.)
Closed Dec 2 (Mon), 9 (Mon), 16 (Mon), 23 (Tue),
Dec 27 (Fri), 2019- Jan 4 (Sat), 2020,
Jan 6 (Mon),14 (Tue), and 20 (Mon)
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

In this year’s exhibition, Winter Flowers: Camellia Sasanqua, we will exhibit close to 140 original varieties of Camellia sasanqua that have been collected and grown in flowerpots. In addition to the varieties donated to the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life in 2000, other varieties collected and cultivated in flowerpots by us (Camellia sasanqua group, 70; Camellia x hiemalis group, 43; Camellia x vernalis group, 32) are exhibited near the Azumaya (wall-less building). Some varieties are planted in the ground in the permanent exhibition space.

This year, under the theme of “Camellia sasanqua in the Showa (1926 – 1989) and Heisei (1989 – 2019) periods,” the following exhibitions are available as panels: illustrations and descriptions of Camellia sasanqua in “Engei Shokubutsu Zufu (Garden Plant Picture Book) Vol. 4,” editedby Yuugi Ishii and published in 1932; double-petal and “lion-headed” Camellia sasanqua, which are late-blooming species that came onto the market in the 1980s; and a new variety, Higo Camellia, which was released in the hope of rekindling interest in cultivating Camellia sasanqua, which had been declining since the 1980s.

  • Number of varieties to be exhibited: 140 in total
  • Number of pots to be exhibited: About 300

Camellia sasanqua





Camellia x hiemalis





Camellia x vernali