Camellia japonica, commonly called Japanese camellia, is an evergreen shrub on stems clad with oval, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves with finely serrated margins. It is native to China and Japan. It is winter hardy to and often grown outdoors year round. It is the most commonly grown camellia species comprising thousands of cultivated varieties.
Buds appear in clusters. Removing all but one bud per cluster will increase flower size. Flowers bloom in mid-late winter (December to March) when grown outdoors in warm winter climates or in greenhouses, but bloom in early spring (April) when grown outdoors in the northern part of its growing range. Species plants have single flowers, but cultivars with semidouble, anemone, peony, rose-form double, or formal double flower forms are available. Each single flower has 5-8 petals. Flower colors are most commonly white, pink or red with yellow anthers. Flowers are borne at the tips of shoots or from lower leaf axils. Rounded fruits.
Genus name honors Georg Joseph Camel (1661-1706), a German Jesuit missionary to the Philippines who was noted for his work on Oriental plants.
Specific epithet is in reference to native territory of this species.