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Cultural Talk: Higo Camellia by Garland Bayley, Oregon Camellia Society

Red camellias blooming in the Portland Japanese Garden
Camellias blooming in Portland Japanese Garden. Photo by Julia Taylor.

Come view and learn about the elegant beauty of camellias. Garland Bayley of the Oregon Camellia Society (OCS) will present a special talk on Higo camellias in the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center from 1:15 – 2:15pm.

Camellias are some of the few flowers guests to Portland Japanese Garden may see blooming throughout our landscape in colder months. While they appear throughout our grounds, one favorite location is the Camellia Tunnel, an interwoven arch of these flowers that has been in the Strolling Pond Garden since its earliest years. When facing the 18-foot-tall Sapporo Pagoda Lantern, veer right toward the Moon Bridge to pass through the tunnel.

Native to Japan, China and Southeast Asia, these evergreen broad-leaf shrubs can reach heights of six to 12 feet tall. Treasured in Japan for centuries, camellias are also well-suited for Oregon gardens. They are drought tolerant, easy to prune, and are resistant to insects and pests. With a remarkable number of different blooms with varying sizes, colors, forms, textures, and sometimes even fragrances, these stunning and culturally important flowers are best appreciated in person.

About the Oregon Camellia Society

The Oregon Camellia Society (OCS) is dedicated to promoting, growing, and caring for camellias. Established in 1942, the OCS is one of the oldest camellia societies in the country, and also propagates unusual camellia cultivars for eventual planting in local communities. Garland Baley serves as the organization’s president.


Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center

The Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center was designed to be the cultural, educational, and architectural hub of the new Cultural Village. “With a new classroom, library, and performance space, the Learning Center provides an open and welcoming space where visitors can learn more about the culture that gave us the Japanese garden art form,”