These flowers are mostly showy in mass, the individual bloom is not a show stopper, like the rose, but when the morning sun hits them the opening buds have a lovely delicacy, both in form and in color.
One of the simple joys of the just past mid-winter season is when my dad’s Pink Perfection camellias bloom. Somehow they appeal to me most on the darkest wettest days…like they are saying “neeener-neeener” to the winter weather.
These bushes are over 60 years old. My father, now in his early 80’s, worked for the local green house company when he was in high school and they were experimenting with camellia’s for corsages. Because the blooms are so delicate and bruise so easily they were not deemed a good commercial idea and they tore out the bushes. Ever the scavenger, Dad brought them home and planted them. They have been abused and battered by winter storms for over sixty years, yet every year they put forward gorgeousness in the midst of dank grey. Just when I need it most!
Strange name, but beautiful flowers. The alpine version is smaller than the description on this US Forest Service site. They seem to like little streams. These photos were taken above the treeline along the Skyline trail near Paradise on Mount Rainier.