Camellias, Those Winter Gems, Get Their Own Showy Spotlight

The Southern California Camellia Show opens its petals the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.


What to Know

  • Southern California Camellia Show at the LA County Arboretum
  • Jan 29 from 1 to 4 p.m., Jan. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; included with garden admission
  • Camellias are also blooming at Descanso Gardens and The Huntington as February arrives

Just when we're longing for spring strolls, and brighter nights, and the sort of afternoons that inspire us to linger in an ethereal alfresco setting, the camellia comes along to tell us it won't be long before those happy times return.

It's the wintertime celebrity of the Southern California garden, a rose-like blossom that can be densely and dazzingly packed with symmetrical petals.

And the colors, hues, and soft shades of the classic camellia?

It's like springtime showed up, rather too early, to add a much-needed dose of whimsy to the doldrum-y days of winter.

You can see all of these sweet sights in our local public gardens as January opens the door to February.

The Camellia Collection at Descanso Gardens is famous well beyond the Golden State, and The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is another well-regarded destination for the cold-weather favorite.

And the get-outside good news continues for fans of the flower.

The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden will spotlight this spectacular star over the final weekend of January 2022. The Southern California Camellia Show "presents hundreds of camellia blooms representing all the varieties that you see around Southern California at this time of year," and is included with admission.

Wherever you go to connect with camellias, you have a few more weeks to truly do so, as the bigger blooms do begin to bid us adieu in February.

Call this bloomful icon a flowery foretelling of spring's spectacular gardens: It does its fabulous thing just weeks before the desert wildflowers begin to pop, and the region's cultivated gardens, like The Flower Fields of Carlsbad and the lovely fields of Lompoc, launch their lavish shows.

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