Camellia Show opens Saturday

Published 11:46 am Friday, February 6, 2015

Brookhaven Camellia Society will host Brookhaven’s 52nd Annual Camellia Show Saturday at the Brookhaven Recreation Department.

The day will be broken into two parts, the competition and the public show. Saturday morning from 7:30 to 11 anyone with a camellia bloom will be able to enter the contest. The show will open to the public from 2 to 5 p.m. Unlike previous years, the show will only be open Saturday.

Homer Richardson, one of the event’s coordinators, said the show is one of only two in Mississippi. The other takes place in Gulfport.

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“North of about Jackson, it gets difficult to grow,” he said.

For those uncertain about what a camellia looks like, Richardson has an easy tip for identification.

“If you see a flower blooming right now, it’s probably a camellia,” he said.

Locals who are participating are hoping the weather stays warm Friday night.

“That’s usually what gets us, a hard freeze will come in,” Richardson said.

The show draws in people from all over the South, and many of the participants come from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The coastal residents tend to have an advantage because the weather stays warmer.

Richardson said camellias have been around this area since 1792. He said their popularity comes from the hardiness of the plants in the warmer climates.

“It’s a nice plant for people who like to fool with plants because they don’t require much work,” he said. “You just mostly get to enjoy it.”

Richardson also said the show comes at just the right time of the year.

“Usually about this time people have had all they want of gray and brown. This is a chance to get some color,” Richardson said.

He said there are always a wide variety of blooms that are unique from what people might see along a driveway.

If anyone has a camellia bloom and knows the name of it, the workers will help find a container and fill out the entry card. The show will also have a table of unknown blooms for those who may not know the name. After the judging, Richardson will ask the judges to try to identify any blooms on the table.

The show will also include plants available for sale beginning at 8 a.m. The sale will be held behind the Recreation Department and will continue throughout the show until supplies run out.

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