Camellia sinensis

species of plant

Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include "tea plant", "tea shrub", and "tea tree" (not to be confused with Melaleuca alternifolia, the source of tea tree oil, or Leptospermum scoparium, the New Zealand tea tree). C. sinensis var. sinensis and C. s. var. assamica are two major varieties grown today. White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, dark tea (which includes pu-erh tea) and black tea are all harvested from one or the other, but are processed differently to attain varying levels of oxidation. Kukicha (twig tea) is also harvested from C. sinensis, but uses twigs and stems rather than leaves.
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