Camellia Club of Mobile Inc. Newsletter  Issue 1 - Vol. XI  October  2014

Welcome back everyone for our  Club’s 75th season!!!!

Our September Meeting  was very well attended by members happy to be starting the new camellia season_and our 75th year.  After a very social half hour our President Larry Heard called the meeting to order and after some Club business we were treated to a most interesting and informative Power Point presentation by Fred Nation on the remarkable diversity of botanical life in south Alabama. Fred and his wife Maureen (aka “Moe”) are very well known and respected as environmentalists, photographers and writers.  If you have a copy of the book “In Full Bloom –  The Delta, The Bay. The Beach” which is about the plants and gardens of Mobile and Baldwin County, you will find several articles in it by Fred and Moe.  They can help you identify most of our native flora, Fred gave me the proper name for an illicium that I bought on Dauphin Island from Tommy Dodd twenty years ago! Our thanks to Fred & Moe for an enjoyable talk.            __________________________________________________________________________________________________

Don’t miss  October 12 Meeting  with Camellia expert

If you have any interest at all in growing quality camellias you must not miss our Meeting on October 12th.  Our speaker will be Randolph Maphis, long time member of the Tallahassee Camellia Club and a most respected camellia grower, breeder and propagator.  When our own Jim Smelley speaks so highly of Randolph you know we are very lucky to have him agree to come all the way from Tallahassee to give a talk to our Club.   Randolph worked closely with the late Hulyn Smith and is propagating many of the cultivars developed by Hulyn.  Most Club members must have at least one of Hulyn’s cultivars in their collection, such as “Tudor Baby” and “Tudor Baby Variegated”, two gorgeous show winners. Bring pencil and paper to make notes, we guarantee you will have lots of new information on growing camellias .



Those members who attended Bobby Green’s presentation on the new sasanquas he has developed and were frustrated in not being able to find the beautiful “Dream Team” – I have found  some lovely plants at Magnolia Landscape Supply which is located on Highway 59 in Baldwin County.  Besides “Dream Team” they have also just received from Green Nurseries a new delivery which includes “Royal Velvet”, “Sea Foam”, “Tiny Princess” and five of the “October Magic” series – “Carpet”, “Ruby”, “Ivory” “Orchid” and “Snow”.  “Tiny Princess” (a K. Sawada non-retic hybrid)  is one of my all-time favorites since I first saw it as a delightfully delicate small tree at Jim Oates’ home.  Sasanquas may be considered the quiet little sister of japonicas and the dramatic reticulatas, partly because they have completed their bloom season by the time the Camellia Shows take place, but I like them because their blooms beginning in September, along with the mockingbird softly practicing her fall songs, lets me know that the heat and humidity are about gone and we can enjoy the brilliant south Alabama autumn days and a bonanza of camellia blooms.


The Gulf Coast Camellia Society will be holding its Annual Meeting on October 17& 18 in Covington, Louisiana.  For more details go to  This is always a great meeting with members attending from all over the South.  Lots to see and do.


The 22nd Annual Weeks Bay Native Plant Sale will be held at Safe Harbor at Weeks Bay on Highway 98 across from Weeks Bay Reserve. Lots of interesting plants, including camellias, all at very reasonable prices.


In case you did not read the letterhead on the President’s letter that was mailed out to you in your info package for the Club’s 75th (!) season, these members were unanimously elected to the following positions for our 2014/15 season: President – Larry Heard, Vice- President – Larry Bush, Treasurer – Martha Terry, Secretary – Jim Dwyer,  Board Members, Jim Smelley, Sharon Emmons, Bill Rawls,  Don  Oyler, Jimmy Walker,  Walter Creighton – Show Chairman.