Camellia oleifera


Camellia oleifera
Oil-seed Camellia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Theaceae
Genus: Camellia
Species: C. oleifera
Binomial name
Camellia oleifera
C.Abel

Camellia oleifera, which originated in China, is notable as an important source of edible oil (known as tea oil or camellia oil) obtained from its seeds.[1] It is commonly known as the Oil-seed Camellia or Tea Oil Camellia, though to a lesser extent other species of Camellia are used in oil production too.

It is widely distributed in China and is cultivated extensively there. It is found in forests, thickets, banks of streams and foothills at elevations of 500 to 1,300 metres.[2]

This species looks much similar to Camellia sasanqua except the dark green, evergreen leaves are a bit larger, three to five inches long and two to three inches wide. Single, white, fragrant flowers are produced in late winter, and this large shrub or small tree will reach a height of 20 feet with thin, upright, multiple trunks and branches. The crown forms a rounded or oval vase with lower branches removed.[3]

Uses

The seeds of Camellia sinensis and Camellia oleifera can be pressed to yield tea oil, a sweetish seasoning and cooking oil that should not be confused with tea tree oil, an essential oil that is used for medical and cosmetical purposes and originates from the leaves of a different plant. The seed oil can be used as treatment of ringworm. Tea-oil Camellia is commonly over 80% monounsaturated fat. As such, it reduces LDL ('bad cholesterol'). Tea Oil is also known as "Tea Seed Oil" when sold as cooking oil in supermarkets throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United States.[4]

It can also be used in textile manufacture, soap making and as an illuminant.[2] Camellia oil is also traditionally used to protect Japanese woodworking tools and cutlery from corrosion and is currently sold for that purpose.[5][6]

See also

  • Tea seed oil is the name given to the oil created by pressing the seeds of Camellia oleifera.
  • Tea tree oil is derived from Melaleuca alternifolia which is native to Australia and unrelated to the tea plant discussed here.
  • Tea tree is a name sometimes applied to a number of different plants unrelated to the tea plant.

References

  1. ^ The Huntington Botanical Gardens: The Camellia Garden
  2. ^ a b Plants for a Future
  3. ^ Camellia oleifera
  4. ^ Antioxidant Activity and Bioactive Compounds of Tea Seed (Camellia oleifera Abel.) Oil
  5. ^ Odate, T: "Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit, and Use" page 174. Linden Publishing, Reprint edition 1998.
  6. ^ Nakahara, Y; Sato, H.; Nii, P.: "Complete Japanese Joinery: A Handbook of Japanese Tool Use and Woodworking for Joiners and Carpenters" pages 5, 15, 28. Hartley & Marks Publishers, 1998

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Camellia oleifera — Camellia Ca*mel li*a, n. [NL., after Georg Josef Kamel, or Camelli, a Jesuit who is said to have brought it from the East.] 1. (Bot.) An Asiatic genus of small shrubs, often with shining leaves and showy flowers. {Camellia Japonica} is much… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camellia oleifera —   Camellia oleifera …   Wikipedia Español

  • Camellia oleifera — aliejinė kamelija statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Arbatmedinių šeimos augalas (Camellia oleifera), paplitęs Azijoje. Iš jo gaunami kietieji aliejai. atitikmenys: lot. Camellia oleifera angl. tea oil plant vok. Öltee; Öl Teestrauch šaltinis… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Camellia — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Camellia (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Camellia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Camellia Camellia sinensis Clasificación científica …   Wikipedia Español

  • Camellia — Ca*mel li*a, n. [NL., after Georg Josef Kamel, or Camelli, a Jesuit who is said to have brought it from the East.] 1. (Bot.) An Asiatic genus of small shrubs, often with shining leaves and showy flowers. {Camellia Japonica} is much cultivated for …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camellia Japonica — Camellia Ca*mel li*a, n. [NL., after Georg Josef Kamel, or Camelli, a Jesuit who is said to have brought it from the East.] 1. (Bot.) An Asiatic genus of small shrubs, often with shining leaves and showy flowers. {Camellia Japonica} is much… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camellia Sassanqua — Camellia Ca*mel li*a, n. [NL., after Georg Josef Kamel, or Camelli, a Jesuit who is said to have brought it from the East.] 1. (Bot.) An Asiatic genus of small shrubs, often with shining leaves and showy flowers. {Camellia Japonica} is much… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camellia Thea — Camellia Ca*mel li*a, n. [NL., after Georg Josef Kamel, or Camelli, a Jesuit who is said to have brought it from the East.] 1. (Bot.) An Asiatic genus of small shrubs, often with shining leaves and showy flowers. {Camellia Japonica} is much… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Camellia — Taxobox name = Camellia bush image width = 280px image caption = Camellia japonica regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Ericales familia = Theaceae genus = Camellia genus authority = L. subdivision ranks =… …   Wikipedia