1. What is Camellia?
Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae, which are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. Camellias are famous throughout East Asia; which are known as cháhuā (茶花, 'tea flower') in Chinese, tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean. Of economic importance in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage tea. The ornamental C. japonica, C. sasanqua, C. reticulata and their hybrids as well as other species in this genus are the source of hundreds of garden cultivars. As important woody oil plants, C. oleifera and C. japonica etc. produces camellia seed oil, used in cooking and cosmetics.
2. About the Cultivated Plant Code
International registration of the names of cultivated plants is considerable importance in the disciplines of horticulture, agriculture and forestry. The International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP), also known as the Cultivated Plant Code, is a guide to the rules and regulations for naming cultivars, Groups (cultivar groups), and grexes. These plant taxa’s origin or selection is primarily due to intentional human activity. The 1st edition of ICNCP had been published in 1953, so far, the latest edition (9th Edition) of ICNCP was published in 2016. ICNCP is of greatest importance for promoting uniformity, accuracy, and stability in the naming of cultivated plants (Principle 8 of ICNCP).
3. Brief Introduction on ICR and development
In 1962, International Camellia Society (ICS) was founded, then it was appointed as International Registration Authority for the Genus Camellia at the International Horticultural Congress at Brussels. Thanks for the hard and excellent culmination work of sixty years by many camellia horticulturists, enthusiasts and scientists, especially by Ralph Philbrick, Thomas Savige, Malcolm Perry, Neville Haydon, the International Camellia Register (ICR) had published two volumes with 2,208 pages in 1993 and the 1st supplement in 1997 and the 2nd supplement in 2011. These 4 books totally weight 7.04 kg. The printed books are so heavy to carry and take time to search. These multi-volume books contain all but the latest camellia cultivars from all countries of the world. The ICR had proved that it would strengthen the system of validity by prior publication, prevent further duplication when selecting names for new cultivars, and assist in clearing up some of the confusion that still clings to a few of the old cultivar names. In recent 4 years, we checked ICR carefully based on the latest version of ICNCP, and found some important problems existed in ICR should be treated or solved as soon as possible, especially those re-used (duplicate) names and some other problems such as Diacritical Mark for Japanese Cultivars, namely the diacritical mark should use the over-score macron (ā, ē, ū, ō) other than the circumflex (â, ê, û, ô). This database is an achievement based on our research and carefully checking the above problems.
two volumes with 2,208 pages in 1993
The 1st supplement in 1997
The 2nd supplement in 2011
4. Project Development and Financial Support
This brand new Internet database of International Camellia Register was financial supported by "the 13th Five-year Informatization Plan of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Scientific Big Data Project" and based in the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The website was developed by Prof. WANG Zhonglang, the International Camellia Registrar, and his international team members: Mr. WANG Yanan, Mrs. Patricia L. SHORT, Prof. Satoshi YAMAGUCHI, Mr. Don BERGAMINI, Dr. Carmen SALINERO，Dr. Derek BEARD，Mr. Jim POWELL, Mr. Andrea CORNEO, Prof. LI Jiyuan, Prof. CHEN Liang and Mr. TSAI Tsanyu, and was supported by all ICS members who uploaded photos and contribute opinions for ICR.
5. What’s new in the Database and characteristics
The database has the following characteristics:
1. It is the most comprehensive database includes all cultivars (Ornamental, Tea and Oil) throughout the world as well as those related synonyms（including Synonym, Different reading, Abbreviation, Orthographic error, Tentative designation, Orthographic variant, Corruption of the Japanese name, Erroneous synonym, Latin error etc.）
2. It supports three important languages for Camellia world. It can be searched by internet in English together with descriptions, all photos. As well as some entries in Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana) and in Chinese (Hanzi) for those who want to check the original Japanese and Chinese names and their descriptions.
3. It complies with the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP), will greatly promote uniformity, accuracy, and stability in the naming of cultivated camellias.
4. It is also an online open working platform, which could be edited the contents in the database by editors (or called super-user, commonly those Regional Representatives) in different countries, and the database will automatically record who make changes for each entry as well as the time to make changes, to show those contributions.
5. It allows the Registered Users throughout the world to upload photos, and co-operate to identify photos, and it will automatically record who and when upload photos to show their contributions.
6. Each cultivar could have many photos (less than 15 M in file size for each photo in JPG and PNG format, for efficient upload purpose) uploaded by the different users in different countries without limited number.
8. It allows online register a new cultivar. After finishing to fill the forms online, the website will automatically compose the standard description for publishing.
9. More useful functions coming…such as to print Plant Labels with QR code for garden use or park use.
We would like to provide a powerful, useful and rapid database with rich information and photos for camellia lovers, breeders and researchers to use and share at Anytime, Anywhere and Any style by Anybody (4A).
6. ICR is the result of International Co-operation!
The International Camellia Register had more than 50,000 names, very difficult to manage. It is always open to amendments and corrections, as errors and omissions will always exist in such a comprehensive long list of names, no matter how carefully checked, and in view of further data coming to light from previously unlocated literature and catalogues. As it is intended to publish and update lists of new cultivars at future regular intervals, a plea is made to our ICS members and others to help the Registrar and regional representatives in your country/region, to collect any further data or information available, and any errors in ICR as well as to upload photos to the ICR. If you have any questions on the nomenclature, registration, please do not hesitate to contact the Registrar and Regional Representatives. Your contribution is well appreciated. We are sure the more we do, the better it will be.