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Column "Camellia" part 8

~Camellias in Izu-Oshima ~

The camellias in Izu-Oshima have been cultivated in order to produce oil from their seeds. The most popular method of cultivation is to drive a camellia trunk into the earth like a stake. As Izu-Oshima is an area where Camellia japonica grows wild, people can grow camellias and make camellia forests in this way. You can see camellia forests managed as farms all over the island. As for Oshima Park, the forests around the camellia pavilion (Previasly, a hut called “Kuroshio-goya”) were originally planted for seed picking. There are many uses of camellias other than making oil. Because the camellia trees are stiff, they are often used for woodwork and make good wood charcoals. Ashes from its branches or leaves are used for color fixatives. Leftovers from the camellia seeds can be used as fuel or fertilizer. You can see particularly big camellia trees at the “camellia tunnel” in Senzu or the row of camellias in Sashikiji-Okinone.

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