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Camellia sinensis (The Tea Plant)

These varieties are the plants from which green, black, white, and oolong tea are produced. Each type (green vs. black) is made using different processing before drying of the leaves. We have made tea from many of these varieties and found the taste to be very similar from one variety to the next if the same processing is used. I'm sure a professional tea taster could tell the difference between large leaf and small leaf tea, but I can't taste any difference.

Tea is harvested many times a year (as often as every 10 days), so a large plant can produce quite a bit of tea, but a hedge may be needed to supply a family with a daily supply. Freshly made tea is superior to tea which has been stored for even a few months.

Many of these are grown from open-pollinated seed and tea is known to hybridize freely with other types of tea, so these may bot be the pure and true varieties. These seedlings do have the general characteristics of each variety.

Please visit our sister site for more information on growing these wonderful plants:
Special quantity discount for tea: any 10 tea plants ($12 size only) for $100.
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Camellia sinensis 'Large Leaf'
Camellia sinensis 'Large Leaf Form'
Our Price: $20.00

(zone 7-10)- Grown as rooted cuttings, sold in 3qt pots. 1 year old plants 12-24" tall with some branching. What sets this variety apart from the others is the large and leathery leaves and it can be identified just by feeling the thickness of a single leaf. The plant becomes a multi-trunked tree to about 15 feet tall. This variety starts blooming as early as August from spherical buds that open into cup shaped white flowers. It is a profuse bloomer and produces many nickel sized fruits. When harvesting tea this has the advantage that your bag fills up much faster because the shoots are larger.

Hardy to USDA Zone: 7
Flower Form, Size: Single, Small
Habit: Vigorous, Spreading
Bloom Time (NC): September - November
10 year size: 15'T X 15'W
Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, Small Leaf Tea
Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, Small Leaf Tea
Our Price: $12.00

(zone 6B-10)- This form is seed grown and sold in a 1qt pot, as a 1 year old seedling 4-12" tall, single stem. An excellent shrub for the landscape that has small white flowers in the early autumn, and a compact branching habit. The plant usually grows as a multi-stemmed small shrub usually not growing more than 6 feet tall. Tea is tolerant of a wide variety of conditions from full sun to deep shade although the ideal situation is light shade or half a day of sun. This variety is widely cultivated in Japan. Using our recipe, tea made from these plants is delicious with a mild flavor.

Hardy to USDA Zone: 6B
Flower Form, Size: Single, Small
Habit: Vigorous, Spreading
Bloom Time (NC): September - November
10 year size: 6'T X 6'W