FEB. 23, 2018 1 min read

While technically classified as a shrub and not a tree, the woody and robust Camellia sasanqua, or Yuletide Camellia, has more than enough charisma to qualify for tree-of-the-week status. Present in various locations on campus, this mid-sized evergreen is native to China and Japan, and it usually grows at high altitudes. In addition to its aesthetic value, Camellia sasanqua is also prized for its practical uses, as its leaves can be brewed into tea and its seeds can be used to make tea seed oil. This oil, which has a high caloric content and has thus been historically significant, makes the Yuletide Camellia especially important in Japan. These early bloomers can be seen sporting vibrant, sweet-smelling red flowers with yellow centers even now, while the last days of winter have yet to turn over into spring.