Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. It is of the genus Camellia of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. Common names include "tea plant", "tea shrub", and "tea tree".
Camellia sinensis (or tea plant) is used to make most traditional caffeinated teas, including black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea. This plant originated near the southwest region of China as an evergreen forest shrub. The leaves are glossy green with serrated edges and are similar in both shape and size to a bay leaf. As the story goes, tea plant was first stumbled upon by accident in 2737 B.C.E. The emperor at the time was boiling water in his garden when a leaf from the overhanging camellia sinensis tree drifted into his pot. The combination yielded a drink that compelled him to research the tree further, uncovering both medicinal and palatable properties.