Brother Georg Joseph Kamel, SJ
Missionary and Botanist

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Postal card honoring  Brother Georg Joseph Kamel, SJ
CZECH REPUBLIC, 2011, a postal card to mark the 350th anniversary of Kamel's birth, issued by Pressfil (Pre2011/18)
The card shows a camellia and Kamel's Herbarium aliarumque stirpium in insula Luzone Philippinarum
which is included as an appendix in John Ray's Historia plantarum ( 1686-1704)

Kamel was born in Brno, Moravia, in 1661, entered the Jesuits, and was assigned to the Philippine missions in 1688. There as Jesuit infirmarian and pharmacist he took up botany and became the first plant specialist of the Philippine Islands. He discovered the medicinal properties of what he named St. Ignatius Bean (Strychnos ignatii) to honor the founder of his order. The St. Ignatius Bean is known today as a source of strychnine. Kamel's findings were published in Europe under the Latin form of his name, Camellius. UNESCO named the 300th anniversary of Kamel's death in 2006 among the world's important anniversaries; many consider Kamel to be the most significant pharmacist of the 17th century.

Most people do not usually make an immediate connection between camellias and Jesuits, or between camellias and tea. But both plants are of the same genus, named Camellia by the great Linnaeus for a Jesuit brother, Georg Joseph Kamel. One species, Camellia sinensis, is the source of tea (whether black or green), and the name has replaced all earlier botanical names. A Portuguese Jesuit, by the way, Fr. Jasper de Cruz, SJ was the first European to experience tea and, writing about it in 1560, to introduce it to his fellow Westerners. One species of Camellia was brought to Europe in a mistaken attempt to break the Portuguese monopoly on tea; it turned out to be more of a flower than a drink, and after the initial disappointment its ornamental use came to be valued. Since there are over 100 examples of the Camellia genus on stamps, we present here just a selection of the flower and the tea.

Camellia on Albania Scott 1017
1967, Camellia × williamsii, Scott 1017

Camellia on Albania Scott 1425 Camellia on Albania Scott 1426 Camellia on Albania Scott 1427 Camellia on Albania Scott 1428 Camellia on Albania Scott 1429 Camellia on Albania Scott 1430 Camellia on Albania Scott 1431
ALBANIA, 1972, Camellia japonica Kamelie, Scott 1425-31

Camellia on China Scott 1530 Camellia on China Scott 1531 Camellia on China Scott 1532 Camellia on China Scott 1533 Camellia on China Scott 1534 Camellia on China Scott 1535 Camellia on China Scott 1536 Camellia on China Scott 1537 Camellia on China Scott 1538 Camellia on China Scott 1539 
CHINA, 1979, camellias, Scott 1530-1539

Camellia on Jersey Scott 703 Camellia on Jersey Scott 704 Camellia on Jersey Scott 705 Camellia on Jersey Scott 706 Camellia on Jersey Scott 707

Camellia on Jersey Scott 1640
JERSEY, 1981, Scott 703-707
JERSEY, 2013, Camellia sasanqua 'Paradise Belinda', Scott 1640

Camellia on New Zealand Scott 1110 Camellia on New Zealand Scott 1111 Camellia on New Zealand Scott 1112
Camellia on New Zealand Scott 1113 Camellia on New Zealand Scott 1114 Camellia on New Zealand Scott 1115
NEW ZEALAND, 1992, Scott 1110-1115

Camellia on Viet Nam Scott 3189 Camellia on Viet Nam Scott 3190 Camellia on Viet Nam Scott 3191 Camellia on Viet Nam Scott 3192
VIET NAM, 2003, Scott 3189-92

Camellia on USA Scott 1375 Camellia on USA Scott 1532 Camellia on USA Scott 1877
, 1969 and 1982, Camellia japonica L., Scott 1375 and 1532
Alabama statehood and a series depicting the state bird and flower of each of the 50 United States
THE UNITED STATES, 1981, Scott 1877

Camellia on Japan Scott 714  Camellia on Japan Scott 723 Camellia on Japan Scott 1115 Camellia on Japan Scott 952
JAPAN, 1961, Scott 714, 723
JAPAN, 1972, Campaign for Reforestation, Scott 1115
KOREA, 1975, Scott 952

Camellia on Poland Scott 1290  Camellia on Belgium Scott 734
Camellia on Belgium Scott 736a 
POLAND, 1964, Camellia japonica elegans, Scott 1290
BELGIUM, 1970, Scott 736a, 734

  Camellia on Romania Scott 2954 Camellia on Italy Scott 1511 Camellia on Belgium Scott 687 Camellia on North Korea Scott 2509
ROMANIA, 1980, Camellia japonica L., Scott 2954
ITALY, 1982, Scott 1511
BARBUDA, 1985, Queen Mother's birthday issue, Scott 687
NORTH KOREA, 1985, Scott 2509

Camellia on Hong Kong Scott 453 Camellia on China Scott 3180a Camellia on Malaysia Scott 862
HONG KONG, 1985, Grantham's camellia, Scott 453
CHINA, 2002, Camellia nitidissima, Scott 3180a
MALAYSIA, 2002, Camellia nitidissima, Scott 862

Camellia on China Scott 2626 Camellia on Belgium Scott 2627a 
CHINA (Taiwan), 1988, Camellia japonica, Scott 2626 2627a

Camellia on Cambodia Scott 1267  Camellia on Monaco Scott 2028
CAMBODIA, 1993, Scott 1267
MONACO, 1996, Camellia 'Double Rouge', Scott 2028

Camellia on Nevis Scott 1312 Camellia on Palau Scott 431 
NEVIS, 2002, cat and camellia in Uto Gyoshi painting, Scott 1312
PALAU, 1997, 200th anniversary of Hiroshige's birth: a titmouse on a camellia, Scott 431

Camellia on Australia Scott 2138 Camellia on Germany Scott 2293
, 2003, 'Hari Withers' Camellia, Scott 2138
2004, Scott 2293

Camellia on Spanish personalized stamp Camellia on Spain Scott 3542 Camellia on Spanish personalized stamp
SPAIN, 2008, Scott 3542
On either side of the above stamp is a personalized stamp (both 2008)
On the left examples of Camellia 'Contessa Lavinia Maggi'
On the right, the Farm of Ortigueira or the Mansion of the Holy Cross of Ribadulla with a camellia leaf.
The farm has been declared a National Monument of Spain because of its production of camellias

Camellia on Spanish personalized stamp Camellia on North Korean stamp
SPAIN, 2009, personalized stamp authorized by the Sociedad Filatélica Miño (logo on stamp) and issued on January 30, 2009, Peace Day,
to honor Gandhi, whose name Mahatma means "Great Soul"; in the language of flowers, a red camellia means "Greatness of Soul."
NORTH KOREA, 2011, from the China Stamp Exhibition mini-sheet of 6 (stamps and sheet also exist imperf)

Camellia on Marshall Islands sheet Scott 1053
MARSHALL ISLANDS, 2013, camellias from the Yunan souvenir sheet, Scott 1053

Camellia on Swiss cancel
SWITZERLAND, 1975, from the Brissago Islands in Lago Maggiore (Swiss territory) this show cancel

Camellia on Spanish cancel Camellia on Spanish cancel Camellia on Spanish cancel Camellia on Spanish cancel Camellia on Spanish cancel Camellia on Spanish cancel
SPAIN, 1977-2011, special cancels for the International Camellia Expositions in Pontevedra, Villagarcía de Arosa and Vigo, province of Pontevedra, Galicia

Camellia on French cancel Camellia on French cancel Camellia on French cancel Camellia on French cancel Camellia on French cancel
FRANCE, 2005, Third Carmelia Festival at Guingamp, France, Brittany,
under the patronage of the Société Nationale d'Horticulture de France (SNHF)
and the Conservatoire Français des Collections végétales spécialisees (CCVS).
ITALY, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, special cancels for the Camellia Show

Camellia on Spanish cancel
2008, special cancel for Spain's 2008 Camellia issue