Camellias on University of Florida Campus

The campus of the University of Florida located in Gainesville, Florida is home to more than 625 camellias. They are located at ten different sites, all but two of which are open to the general public. The largest single grouping can be seen in the 4.8-acre Wilmot Botanical Gardens situated on the UF medical campus at 2023 Mowry Road. More than 400 camellias, with 270 different cultivars, are located at this site. Many of the specimens comprise two specialty gardens within Wilmot Botanical Gardens, the Gordy Camellia Garden and the newly created Mendenhall Family Camellia Walk.

In the summer of 2020, Wilmot Botanical Gardens was officially added to be American Camellia Trails program sponsored by the American Camellia Society. This program, which spans the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Coasts, promotes public gardens containing significant collections of camellias. This national recognition is enjoyed by 57 public gardens across the United States, but by only two other botanical gardens in the state of Florida.

The second largest grouping of camellias on the UF campus is located within University Gardens on Museum Drive. This site is home to 150 camellias planted between 2018 and 2021. All were obtained from the former private garden of Clarence and Lillian Gordy, recently of Ocala, Florida. Many rare and unusual cultivars can be found at the University Gardens site.

Gerson Hall, a College of Business facility, located on the northeast corner of the UF campus, is home to another 28 camellias. Again, all of these cultivars were transplanted from the Gordy camellia garden in 2019. Additional campus sites that allow unlimited access to the camellias include the west side of Fifield Hall (13 cultivars), the south side of Mehrhof Hall (10 cultivars), Facilities Services (Building 700) off Radio Road (28 cultivars), and the newest parking garage (Parking Garage 5) on Gale Lemerand Drive (5 cultivars).

Limited access is possible by appointment only for the 32 camellias that are planted at the Dasburg House, the residence of the current president of the University of Florida. All were relocated in 2019 from the Gordy garden in Ocala, Florida.

Finally, a total of ten camellias from the Gordy garden were added to the grounds at the Earl and Christy Powell University House in 2021.

The following lists by site provide the common names, species and bloom season for the camellias located at each site. Only identified camellias are included for each list; unidentified camellias have been omitted.

Camellia Sites on UF Campus

Site 1 – Wilmot Botanical Gardens, 2023 Mowry Road

Common Name Species garden Zone Bloom Season
Kanjiro Hiemalis 1 early
Ann Blair Brown Var Japonica 2 mid
Ave Maria Japonica 2 early
Baby Sargent Japonica 2 mid
Ballet in Pink Non-reticulata hybrid 2 late
Ben George Japonica 2 mid
Betty Sheffield Supreme Japonica 2 mid
Black Gold Var Japonica 2 mid
Black Lace reticulata hybrid 2 mid to late
Black Magic Japonica 2 mid to late
Wilmot Botanical Gardens zones

Site 2 – Fifield Hall, 2550 Hull Road

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Arajishi Japonica early
C. granthamiana C. granthamiana unknown
Cherry Blossom (Cherry Leaf Camellia) Japonica mid
Frank Houser reticulata hybrid early to mid
Kitty Japonica late
Kuro-tsubaki Japonica mid to late
Leslie Ann Sasanqua early
Miss Tulare reticulata hybrid early to mid
Mrs. D. W. Davis Descanso Japonica mid
Orphan unknown unknown

Site 3 – Mehrhof Hall, 2046 IFAS Research Drive

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Angela Lansbury Japonica mid to late
Blushing Beauty/Premier Var Japonica/double graft mid to late
Camille Var Japonica mid
Dick Hardison Var Japonica early to late
Diddy’s Pink Organdie Japonica mid
Elaine’s Betty Red Var Japonica mid
Forty-niner Var reticulata hybrid early to mid
Frank Houser reticulata hybrid early to mid
Frank Houser Var reticulata hybrid early to mid
Happy Birthday Japonica early to mid

Site 4 – University Gardens, 2353 Museum Road

Common Name Species garden Zone Bloom Season
Cherries Jubilee Var Japonica 1 mid
Cile Mitchell Non-reticulata hybrid – C. x Williamsii 1 early to mid
Colonial Lady Japonica 1 mid
Dusty Var Japonica 1 mid to late
Elegans Supreme Japonica 1 early to mid
Kate Hardie Japonica 1 early to mid
Sawada’s Dream Japonica 1 early to mid
Silver Chalice Japonica 1 mid
Tammia Japonica 1 mid to late
Tiffany Var Japonica 1 mid

Site 5 – Facilities Services (Building 700), 3280 Radio Road

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Alda Boll Var Japonica mid
Cile Mitchell Non-reticulata hybrid – C. x Williamsii early to mid
Dora Lee reticulata hybrid late
Edna Bass Var Japonica early
Edna Campbell/Confetti Blush Japonica/double graft early to late
Ellen Daniel Japonica mid
Evelina Japonica mid to late
Eventide Japonica mid to late
Flower Girl reticulata hybrid unknown
Galaxie Non-reticulata hybrid – C. x Williamsii mid to late

Site 6 – Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Jean’s Unsurpassable Pink Japonica unknown

Site 7 – Gerson Hall, 1368 Union Road

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Betty Sheffield Supreme Japonica mid
Bob’s Tinsie Japonica mid
Cardinal’s Cap Japonica mid to late
Carter’s Sunburst Japonica early to late
Charlie Bettes Japonica early
Donckelarii Japonica mid
Dr. Clifford Parks Var reticulata hybrid mid
Elaine’s Betty Japonica mid
Elegans Champagne Japonica early to mid
Eugene Lize Japonica mid to late

Site 8 – Parking Garage 5, 1104 Gale Lemerand Drive

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Dr. Clifford Parks reticulata hybrid mid
Holly Bright Japonica mid
Lady Laura Red Japonica mid
R. L. Wheeler Var Japonica early to mid
William Penn Japonica mid

Site 9 – Dasburg House, 450 Village Drive

Common Name Species Bloom Season
Amazing Graces Japonica mid
Ann Blair Brown Var Japonica mid
Black Gold Japonica mid
Black Tie Japonica mid
Campari White Japonica mid to late
Carter’s Sunburst Blush Japonica early to late
Diddy Mealing Japonica mid
Edna Bass Var Japonica early
Elaine’s Betty Japonica mid
Feathery Touch Japonica mid

Site 10 – The Earl and Christy Powell University House, 2151 W. University Avenue

Common Name Species Zone Bloom Season
Cameo Pink unknown front yard unknown
Leila Gibson Japonica front yard mid
Miss Charleston Japonica front yard mid to late
Shuchuka Japonica front yard late
Sieur de Bienville Japonica front yard unknown
Fashionata Japonica back yard mid
Harold L. Paige Reticulata hybrid back yard late
Junior Prom Japonica back yard early to mid
Pete Galli Reticulata hybrid back yard early to late
Prince Eugene Napolean Japonica back yard mid