Tea Camellia Sinensis

Definition [ka-mee-li-a cy-nen-sis]. Latin

Literally, “Chinese Camellia” – Botanical name for tea, an evergreen shrub or tea that grows to tree heights in some cases. These are 82 different species of Camellia, of which tea is the most complex, with 3 major varieties numbering almost over 500 recognized cultivars*.

The varieties are:

  • Camellia sinensis var. sinensis known as China bush
  • Camellia sinensi var. assamica, known as Assam bush
  • and the commercially unimportant Camellia irrawadiensis, called Cambodia bush.

Most cultivars fall under China bush, among many others, for instance, Shuixian, Dahongpao, Rougui, and some several doxen others best known for producing oolong.


Literrally, “cultivated variety.” Any plant sub-variety within a particular cultivated species that distingushed by one or more characteristics.

Thus wine grape cultivars include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.,

while cultivars of tea include Ti Guan Yin,  Shuixian, Yunnan Dayeh, qimen, etc.

Definition from the “TEA DICTIONARY” – James Norwood Pratt’s