Camellia sinensis ‘Large Leaf’ Tea
Used to make most traditional caffeinated teas. The leaves are glossy green with serrated edges and are similar in both shape and size to a bay leaf. Considered hardy to Zone 7, Camellia sinensis can be cultivated in a backyard or in a container. Sun to part shade. Thrives in well-drained sandy soil and shouldn’t be harvested for tea until it’s 3 years old. Until then, pretty white flowers appear in late spring and into summer. Harvesting must be done by hand, as only the top leaves should be plucked. Pluck a group (also called a ‘flush’) of leaves, taking care to include a small portion of the stem containing two to five leaves and the tip.