The Japanese Camellia ( Camellia japonica ) is one of the best known species of Camellia . It is a member of the Theaceae family or tea family. It is a flowering shrub or a small tree native to Japan , Korea and China . It is also the official state flower of Alabama . It is also called the “rose of winter.” An evergreen Shrub growing to 10 m (32ft) by 8 m (26ft). It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. and can grow in very acid soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil. Growing Info:Scarification: Soak in hot tap water, let stand in water for 24 hours.Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days.Germination: sow seed 3/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.