Camellia Blooms at Vaucluse House

Camellia sasanqua 'Rosea' - the mild pink Camellia with its contrasting yellow stamens at Vaucluse House

Camellia sasanqua 'Rosea' - The stunning pink camellia with it's contrasting bright yellow stamens arches over the path towards the house. Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

With the autumn leaves still falling, winter is the time to come and see our large collection of stunning heritage camellias at Vaucluse House.

The current cooler temperatures mean most of our plants should be at peak bloom in the next few weeks (fingers crossed). Below is a selection of images from the cultivars that are currently open, with most of our other plants packed with flower buds which are on the verge of bursting open.

Just as our house museums' interiors have been changed over to their winter settings the gardens team have been busy wintering the gardens in preparation for spring.

With our lawn maintenance at its least intensive stage, we finally find ourselves with the time to complete some much-needed spring garden preparations.

Camellia japonica 'C.M Hovey'. at Vaucluse house is a semi-formal double red/pink cultivar

Camellia japonica 'C.M Hovey'

This japonica is a large red/pink formal double which can found inside the white estate fencing surround the pleasure garden.

Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

Camellia japonica ‘Aspasia Macarthur’ at Vaucluse House

Camellia japonica 'Aspasia Macarthur'

This camellia was released by William Macarthur in 1848. It has white/cream flowers containing pink flecks and many different sports (different coloured flowers on the same plant). This bloom can be found skirting the main lawn near the rustic timber archway.

Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

Camellia japonica 'Pompone' at Vaucluse House is a pretty informal double pink flowering variety

Camellia japonica 'Pompone'

This is one possibly one of our oldest camellia plantings due to its gnarly trunk and size. It is an informal double which is predominately pink but sports varieties of pink and white. This cultivar is hanging over the gravel path near the bridge towards the tearooms.

Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

Camellia japonica 'Anemoneflora Alba' at Vaucluse House is known as the white waratah due to its colour and look

Camellia japonica 'Anemoneflora Alba'

Also known as the 'White Waratah', this is a small anemone form of camellia. We also have the red version which is not quite in bloom yet. This cultivar is placed perfectly to view the flowers as it is next to the verandah, allowing you to get up close to the canopy.

Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

Camellia sasanqua Sp. has bright pink flowers with hidden yellow stamens at Vaucluse House

Camellia sasanqua sp.

Unfortunately I am unsure of this cultivar; it is slightly different to the 'Rosea' as its yellow stamens have small petals surrounding them. This cultivar can be found right next to the 'White Waratah' just off the house verandah. 

Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

Photo of the gravel path in the Vaucluse House pleasure garden which is lined by camellia cultivars

The Pleasure garden at Vaucluse House

Shot of the gravel path skirting the fountain lawn at Vaucluse House. This iswhere the camellias are most heavily planted; here you can see some colour but with many more buds to open. The pink 'Pompone' is in the distance and 'Aspasia Macarthur' in the foreground.

Photo Steven Halliday © Sydney Living Museums

About the author

Photograph of a man standing beside a garden shed

Steve Halliday


Steven is one of the horticulturists who takes care of Sydney Living Museums’ green spaces and gardens.