One of the charming things about the annual Baton Rouge Camellia Society show is the invitation to anyone with a camellia bush to enter the competition.

The show opens to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

If you want to enter a bloom, do so between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday at LSU’s Rural Life Museum, 4560 Essen Lane at I-10. Judging takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

“We’re looking for perfection,” Pat Hegwood said.

That sounds daunting, but homeowners’ camellia blooms have done well in the show in the past, Hegwood said.

“Blooms are judged on symmetry, color, freshness and being spotless,” he said.

That means a perfect bloom from your old Professor Sargent camellia bush in the front yard could beat a serious camellia grower’s bloom if the latter bloom had a blemish. It’s not likely, but feel free to enter, Hegwood said.

The show is expected to draw 1,500 blooms with 175 varieties of camellias for sale.

There will be photographs to help gardeners select camellias at the show. The pictures can be found at

Ed Cullen

Advocate staff writer