Camellia Sinensis - Tea

Camellia Sinensis Seeds - Tea Seeds

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Hot drink made from its leaves. Appreciated for its stimulant properties and health benefits.

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Camellia sinensis is a shrub grown to produce the popular beverage tea. It was thought that black and green teas came from different plants. In fact, they come from the same species (black tea being fermented). It can grow up to 17 m high. Fresh leaves contain about 4% caffeine. Its leaves are bright green and shiny. The plant has proved to be hardy, surviving snow and winter temperatures of -8˚C. They are slow-growing and produce white flowers in the autumn.
Label No
Common name Tea
Family Theaceae
Genus Camellia
Species Camellia sinensis
Cultivar No
Therapeutic uses Used as a stimulant, as an astringent lotion which may be used as a gargle or injection, for some digestive problems and to reduce sweating in fevers.
Germination Place the tea plant seeds in a deep bowl. Boil water in a pan, and then remove it from the heat. Pour the just-boiled water over the tea plant seeds. Soak them for 24 hours to soften the outer hull.
Spread the soaked tea plant seeds on a dish towel in a sunny area. Mist the seeds with water every few hours so they never fully dry out. Inspect the seeds in a day or two. Collect those with a crack in the hull and sow them immediately.
Sow the tea plant seeds in individual 4-inch greenhouse pots filled with a mix of one-half potting soil and one-half perlite or vermiculite. Sow the seeds at a depth of 1 inch. Make sure the pale spot, or eye, on the end of the seed is positioned horizontally.
Set the potted tea plant seeds inside a shaded cold frame on a germination mat. Set the temperature on the germination mat to between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not lower the temperature at night. Drape a sheet of plastic wrap over the pots to hold the warmth around the seeds.
Keep the growing medium moderately moist. Allow the top 1/2 inch to dry out before adding more water to prevent rot. Add water until it begins to trickle from the base of the pot.
Look for signs of germination in one to two months. Remove the plastic wrap after sprouts emerge, but keep the germination mat in place for another two weeks to encourage fast growth.
Transplant the tea plant seedlings into 8-inch pots filled with potting soil once they produce two sets of mature leaves, or four leaves total. Move the pots to a sheltered area under very light shade with morning and late afternoon sun.
Grow the tea plants under light shade for two to three months, or once they grow to 1 foot in height. Provide an inch of water weekly. Acclimate the shrubs to direct sun over the course of seven to 10 days in early autumn.
Transplant the tea plants into a permanent bed with acidic, consistently moist soil in the fall after the first rain. Space them at least 15 feet apart. Provide light shade during the shrub's first summer in the ground to prevent stress.
Scarification / Stratification No

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