Camellia sinensis tea plant seeds
Camellia sinensis belongs to the family of the Theaceae. The plant is native to Asia.
C. sinensis is an evergreen shrub that reaches a height of 6 to 8 m in nature. In culture it is most of the time hold at a height of 1m so that it is easier to harvest the leaves.
The leaves are simple, elliptic- roundish, 5 to 14 cm long and 2 to 7 cm wide. They alternate at the shoot. The leaves are first light green and get dark green when older. The leaf edge is dentate. The flowers are white, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic and stand in the axilla of the leaves. They reach 3 cm in diameter. The many yellow stamens are clearly visible in contrast to the white corolla leaves. The flower resembles the flower of the cherry. The fruit is a capsule that includes just one or two brown and round seeds.
C. sinensis is used to produce black and green tea. For the production of the black tea older leaves are fermented. For the green tea the leaves are treated with heat and then they are dried. Because of this the leaves stay green. In former times the natives used to say that the first cup of an extraction of green tea is for the enemy. The second extraction tasted better and so one wanted to drink it in one’s own right. Green tea includes less caffeine than black tea. From the upper young leaves and the but, one can make the tea with the best quality. Today 3 million tones of tea are harvested every year. Tea can be used in medicine against heart diseases and caries. But too much consume of tea is not healthy. In our society tea is mainly a luxury food.
The seeds have to be roughened before planting. It is best to use a rasp. The seed should be put into the water for 24 to 48 hours. After that they can be planted 1 cm deep into the substrate. Germination occurs after 4 to 7 weeks if the temperature is about 23° C. The soil should be kept moist all the time.
C. sinensis prefers a place in the semi- shade or the sun. Humus mixed with sand is the best substrate for C. sinensis. One should avoid stagnant moisture.