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Blooming now in the Arboretum’s prized Camellia Collection is the cultivar Camellia japonica ‘Dewa-tairin’. First recorded in Japan in 1695, it was one of the first camellias to enter European gardens. It’s also part of a group of camellias known as the “Higos,” which boast flat, large-petalled flowers with multiple (up to 250), showy yellow stamens.

Because they bloom beautifully in cold winters, Higo camellias were beloved by the samurai, who saw them as symbols of steadfastness and bravery.

In the winter issue of the Arboretum Bulletin, gardener and writer Daniel Mount profiles the ‘Dewa-tairin’ and discusses the fascinating history of the Arboretum’s own specimens.