Sazanka has white or pink blossoms from late autumn to winter, especially December. Many cultivated species of Sazanka have been created and they are often planted as a garden tree or hedge.
Sazanka resembles Tsubaki[椿（ツバキ）](camellia) but Sazanka blooms earlier than Tsubaki and Sazanka drops each petals when it withers but Tsubaki drops blossom itself. And the leaf of Sazanka is smaller than Tsubaki.
The name of "山茶花" derives from 山茶(Sansa) that means plants of the theaceae family in Chinese.
In the Edo Period(1603-1868), Sazanka was introduced to Europe by a Swedish doctor and botanist, Carl Peter Thunberg who stayed in Nagasaki(Nagasaki was the only trade area with foreign countries in Japan). Therefore, it is called "sazanqua" in foreign countries and the scientific name is Camellia sazanqua.