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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 42

The Development of Cutting Propagation of Camellia reticulata Hybrids

Jim Rumbal

pp: 295-296

A dramatic introduction of Yunnan reticulata camellias into Western gardens occurred in 1948 when the Kunming cultivars from China were imported into the United States. This heralded a new era of interest and progress in the cultivation of the genus Camellia which has since gained further impetus with the development of new interspecific hybrids, scented cultivars, and the introduction of the yellow-flowered C. chrysantha.

These early Kunming reticulatas were traditionally propagated by grafting Scions were worked onto pot-grown C. reticulata or C. sasanqua seedlings. Robust, well-established, 3-year-old seedlings, 1 to 2 cm in diameter, were decapitated and either cleft, or, less-commonly rind grafted, to unite scion to rootstock. This was a costly time-consuming, labour-intensive method of propagation. However, it was most successful in producing excellent plants at a time when labour costs were not as high as they are today.

In the early 1970s, increasing costs prompted investigation into

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