The show took place at Wisley, an RHS garden in Guildford, and Camellia saluenensis "Trewithen Red" was awarded first place in the Species Class. Andy Simons, who has just visited Trewithen, is the Chairman of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group and the International Camellia Society's Registrar for the UK.
"Camellia saluenensis comes from the wild in whites and pinks but not red," he said. "However, the little known "Trewithen Red" is thriving in the garden.
"A nearly mythical dark red saluenensis was reportedly growing at Trewithen many years ago as an original seedling from seed collected by the plant collector George Forrest. It was reportedly lost during a rare severe winter so this plant and the plant growing in the garden must be related or, if not, are the same. Maybe this red form of saluenensis can be used to produce the dark red hybrids so many people want."
There were thirty classes at the Wisley show and Trewithen's stunning array of Camellia blooms won fifteen awards – including three first places, four second places and four third places.
Trewithen's Head Gardener Gary Long was absolutely thrilled with the awards and the additional discovery.
"Having travelled a long way from Cornwall to show at this competition, we were really pleased to be awarded so highly – especially with the "Trewithen Red," he said. "Our plant has been growing in the garden for years and will now be recognised for its award-winning status and unique colour.
"Many of our competitors grow their blooms under glass but our plants are grown in open land – thanks to the Cornish climate which gives us the perfect natural conditions to produce these stunning blooms!"
Camellia saluenensis "Trewithen Red" can be purchased at Trewithen's Plant Centre.