Tea Oil Camellia
A beautiful and useful multi-purpose shrub, Tea Oil Camellia has been valued for centuries for its tea seed oil which can be used as a sweet seasoning and cooking oil. Oleic acid is present in the seed, making up 80% of the total fatty acid content and is very similar to olive oil. Tea Oil Camellia is a great choice for gardeners and homesteaders wanting to grow their own oil in areas where olive trees will not thrive. It has also been used historically to polish woodworking tools and to make soap and textiles! That’s one versatile seed. Hardy and evergreen all the way down to -5F or USDA Zone 6! Grows about 12-15 feet tall by 6 feet wide and produces gorgeous white flowers that precede the useful seed.
And here’s a nice article from the lovely folks over at Mt. Rose herbs about some uses of Camellia oil for skin and hair care!
Latin Name: Camellia oleifera
Site and Soil: Prefers 1/2 day to full sun and well-drained soil.
Pollination Requirements: Self-fertile
Hardiness: Hardy to -5 F, possibly lower once established
Bearing Age: 2-3 years after planting
Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft. in height by 4-7 ft. wide
Pests & Diseases: None that we have seen here
USDA Zone: 6