This fall we have enjoyed the beautiful blooms on one very special plant with a remarkable history. It's a Camellia japonica that was a gift from Hiroshima, Japan, to the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum in Independence, Mo. Clifton Truman Daniel, Harry S. Truman's grandson, carried the plant back from Hiroshima. The blooms pictured are the first on the seedling that Powell Gardens is maintaining.
This Camellia tree grew from a mother tree that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. That particular tree was located on the grounds of the Housho-in Temple, which is less than 1.25 miles from the bomb hypocenter. Once at nearly 33 feet tall, the mother tree was a symbol for the area. The bomb blast scorched the tree above ground but the roots produced a new shoot that was transplanted in 1975 and rose with new life.
Prior to World War II, the grounds of Housho-in Temple had many trees, including ginkgo, pine and others, but most were lost to the atomic bomb. Learn more about these trees and more at Green Legacy Hiroshima, an organization established to safeguard and spread the seeds and saplings of Hiroshima's survivor trees.
We are honored to care for this Camellia japonica and hope many visitors will enjoy its beauty and history for years to come.