The bush Camellia sinensis, the leaves of which are picked, dried and used to make the beverage tea.
China has 66 species of Quercus, 35 of Vitis, 2 of Aesculus, 42 of Acer, 33 Magnoliaceae (including two species of Liriodendron), 12 Anonaceae, 71 Ternstroemiaceae (including the tea-plant), and 4 of Clethra, which has a solitary western representative in Madeira.
The tea plant thrives and is being planted fairly rapidly on the Black Sea littoral in Transcaucasia.
The tea plant was first introduced in Natal in 1850, but little attention was paid to it until the failure of the coffee plantations about 1875, since when only small quantities of coffee have been produced.
Not only are rice and maize, sugar and coffee, among the widely cultivated crops, but the coco-nut, the bread-fruit, the banana and plantain, the sugar-palm, the tea-plant, the sago-palm, the coco-tree, the ground-nut, the yam, the cassava, and others besides, are of practical importance.
The tea plant is found almost everywhere, and the cotton plant is largely cultivated near the sea.