Q: I have a multi-colored camellia in my back yard. You wrote that you cannot purchase one like it. I definitely did no grafting. As you can see, a lot of the petals have fallen to the ground but there are still enough to observe the various colors.
A: My camellia friend Mark Crawford at Loch Laurel Camellia Nursery says “This is an example of a camellia that has sported to a different color. If you notice, the flowers have the same formation but color is either red or pink. No doubt a sport.”
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’.