Tea is a heterogeneous evergreen plant with many overlapping morphological biochemical and physiological characteristics. It falls under the Theacea familly in the Camellia genus and is named Camellia sinensis, consisting of two main varieties; var. sinensis and var. assamica known generally as China and Assam varieties, respectively. A third variety considered to be a subspecies of Camellia assamica named Camellia sinensis var. assamica spp lasiocalyx has semi erect leaves and is classified as ologophite (leaf angle 50°‐ 70°). The China varieties have small erect leaves and are classed as erectophiles (leaf angle < 50°), while the Assam varieties (considered small trees thought originally to have grown in the forest) have horizontal and broad leaves and are classified as planophile (leaf angle > 70°). Tea can grow into a tree attaining a height of 20‐30m if unpruned and can have very long life span of more than 1,500 years (Ref). The tea plant is extensively commercially exploited. On average a tea bush under optimum Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) can produce up to 3.5kg green leaf/bush/year.
Propagation of tea is commercially propagated by vegetative material. Tea plants can be raised from seed, cuttings and tissue culture (micro propagation). Propagation from seed is less common nowadays following development of operationally easy, rapid and cheap techniques of vegetative propagation (VP), which facilitate easy production of cultivars. However, if required, open pollinated seeds can be supplied from tea breeding seed barriers. Tissue culture is rapid and economical on space. However, it is costly for use in micro‐propagation and is appropriate mainly for breeding purposes.