Father Georg Josef Kamel, SJ
Missionary and Botanist

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Scott 1017
1967, Camellia × williamsii, Scott 1017

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 Josef Kamel. One species, Camellia sinensis, is the source of tea (whether black or green), and the name Tea 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.

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, and they so impressed the great Swedish botanist Charles von Linnaeus that he changed the name of the genus he once called Thea to Camellia in his honor. 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.

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

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

Scott 703 Scott 704 Scott 705 Scott 706 Scott 707
JERSEY, 1981, various species of camellia, Scott 703-707

JERSEY, 2013, Camellia sasanqua 'Paradise Belinda', Scott 1640

Scott 1110 Scott 1111 Scott 1112
Scott 1113 Scott 1114 Scott 1115
NEW ZEALAND, 1992, various species of camellia, Scott 1110-1115

Scott 3189 Scott 3190 Scott 3191 Scott 3192
VIET NAM, 2003, Scott 3189-92

Scott 1375 Scott 1532 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

Scott 714 Camellia japonica Scptt 723 Camellia sasanqua Scott 1115 Scott 952
JAPAN, 1961, Scott 714, 723
JAPAN, 1972, Campaign for Reforestation, Scott 1115
KOREA, 1975, Scott 952

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

  Scott 2954 Scott 1511  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

Scott 453  Scott 862
HONG KONG, 1985, Camellia granthamiana or Grantham's Camellia, Scott 453
CHINA, 2002, Camellia nitidissima, Scott 3180a
MALAYSIA, 2002, Camellia nitidissima, Scott 862

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

cott 1267  Scott 2028
CAMBODIA, 1993, Scott 1267
MONACO, 1996, Camellia 'Double Rouge', Scott 2028

Scott 1312 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

Scott 2138 Scott 2293
, 2003, Camellia japonica 'Hari Withers', Scott 2138
2004, Scott 2293

personalized Scott 3542 personalized
SPAIN, 2008, Scott 3542
On either side of the above stamp is a personalized stamp (both 2008)
On the left examples of Camellia japonica '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

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." More
NORTH KOREA, 2011, from the China Stamp Exhibition mini-sheet of 6 (stamps and sheet also exist imperf)

MARSHALL ISLANDS, 2013, camellias from the Yunan souvenir sheet, Scott 1053

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

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

FRANCE, 2005, Third Camellia 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

SPAIN, 2008, special cancel for Spain's 2008 camellia issue