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This is the camellia from which we get our nation's favourite drink, tea. It is a native of both India and China and can grow at altitudes as high as 2,100 metres above sea level. To grow well the tea plant needs an acid soil, warm conditions all-year-round and no frost, so not many areas of the UK are suitable. It reaches up to 17m high but is slow-growing and can be kept smaller with regular pruning. On tea estates bushes are kept at around 1m as an ideal height for tea-plucking. The leaves are shiny and look similar to privet and the white, scented flowers grow in clusters of two or four.
Plant type: Evergreen shrub
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Dark green
Feature: Aromatic foliage
Sun exposure: Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic
Skill level: Experienced
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