The earliest Camellia to bloom is Camellia sinensis which is cultivated worldwide for the production of tea.
Foodies beware: Camillia sinensis has numerous subvarieties. Those cultivated in the mountains of Korea and Japan are hardy! And it’s nice that these plants are the first to introduce the Camellia flowering-season with white blossom and yellow stamens. Usually a frost-sensitive tea plant with larger leaves is available: Camellia sinensis var. Assamica, which doesn’t survive our cold winters planted out!