Different Camellia Blooms – Common?

Q: I have two different color blooms on the same camellia bush. They are on the same branch but on just alternate stems. Is this common?

A: It’s common for camellias and azaleas to “sport” different color flowers on the same branch. The sporting may be caused by a virus or a genetic mutation. According to Mark Crawford, owner of Loch Laurel Camellia Nursery in Valdosta, ‘Betty Sheffield’ camellia is famous for her numerous attractive sports. They include ‘Betty’s Beauty’, ‘Betty Sheffield Blush’, ‘Betty Sheffield Variegated’ and ‘Betty Sheffield Supreme’. Among azaleas, purple-flowered ‘Omurasaki’ sported the pink (with purple markings) ‘George L. Taber’ which sported the pure white ‘Mrs G. G. Gerbing.’. Plants occasionally revert back to the coloration of a parent as well.

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