The Camellia is the official state flower of Alabama after going into law in 1959. However, the state’s original state flower back in 1927 was the Goldenrod. The Alabama state flower, also known as the rose of winter, thrives in the climates of the southeastern United States. In 1999, Alabama specifically made the Camellia japonica the state flower since there are thousands of variations of the Camellia.
So, why is the Camellia japonica the state flower, and why did it replace the Goldenrod? What does the flower look like, and where does it grow within the state? What does the Camellia japonica flower represent, and what are some facts about the flower?
Here is the complete guide to the state flower of Alabama.
Why is the Camellia the State Flower of Alabama?
On September 6th, 1927, the Goldenrod became the official state flower of Alabama. The Alabama legislature also made the Yellowhammer the official state bird that same day. However, the story goes that the women in Butler County thought the Goldenrod was too ordinary of a flower to represent the state, so the change took place in August 1959 to make the Camellia the state flower. John Patterson was the governor who signed this flower change into law.
There are thousands of Camellia plants in color, blossom season, and size. For example, some Camellia flowers grow in cold weather. Meanwhile, others blossom in the spring, adding to the beauty of the changing seasons. Since there was confusion on what type of Camellia flower should represent the state, a change would occur in the ’90s.
Fast forward to 1999, the Alabama legislature updated the official state flower to Camellia japonica. This specific type of flower grows on shrubs and grows to a few inches tall. On that same day that the state flower changed, the state also recognized the official state wildflower as the oak-leaf hydrangea.
What Does the Camellia Flower Look Like?
It is worth noting that camellia flowers have thousands of varieties. These beautiful flowers look like roses, peonies, and anemones, which gives them a certain distinguished beauty. When they blossom, they can come in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, and red.
The Camellia japonica colors tend to be a mixture of pink and red. This type of plant stands out because it contrasts nicely against the green shrubs it lives on.
Does the Camellia Grow in Alabama?
The history of the Camellia is that it originated in China and Japan. In the 18th century, these flowers made it to Europe and, eventually, the United States. The ideal growing climates for the Camellia to grow and thrive were in the southern states of the United States.
Today, Camellia flowers are a popular choice for home gardens and shrubs. Since the flower blooms in the fall, winter, and spring, it can handle all types of weather, which makes it so popular to grow. The leaves stay green throughout the winner, which gives this plant a beautiful appearance year round.
Also, it is common to see Camellia grow in state parks across Alabama. For example, you can visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to see these flowers throughout the park.
What Does the Camellia Represent?
The Camellia japonica represents southern beauty, which works perfectly to represent the residents of Alabama. For example, pink flowers represent affection and love, which are part of southern hospitality. The color pink also represents friendship, which goes well with the friendliness of the Alabama citizens.
The Camellia also represents the state and its people through its toughness to survive different climates. This type of plant can blossom in the fall, winter, and spring, which shows it can adapt to different environments. Residents of Alabama can take great pride in that since they can adapt to whatever comes at them, just like the flower, and be beautiful and strong.
Facts about the Camellia Flower
- These plants are native to Japan, Korea, China, and India, with thousands of variations.
- The Camellia was not originally native to the US State until it was brought over in the 18th century.
- Slightly acidic soil / well-drained soil works best for this plant.
- After replacing the Goldenrod, Alabama made the camellia flower the state symbol back in 1959. It was not until 1999 that the state specifically made the camellia japonica the official state flower.
- Sacramento, California, has the nickname Camellia City.
- The plant does well in environments with partial shade.
- The most common colors of flowers for this plant include pink, white, red, and lavender.
- You can make tea using the flowers of Camellia japonica.
- According to Pro Blog, Alabama produces two-thirds of this type of flower for the eastern part of the United States.
Conclusion: What is the State Flower of Alabama
In summary, the original state flower of Alabama was the Goldenrod. The Goldenrod was the state flower until 1959 when the state legislator made the Camellia the official state flower. Since there are thousands of Camellia variations, the state in 1999 made the Camellia japonica the official state flower to narrow down the different types.
The flower was originally native to Asia and eventually made its way to Europe and the United States in the 18th century. After coming to the United States in the 18th century, these flowers thrived in the climates of the southern US states. Today, according to Pro Blog, Alabama produces two-thirds of the total Camellias in the eastern part of the United States.
The flower itself has a beautiful look that adds to the charm and reason it is the state flower of Alabama. It grows on shrubs and blossoms during the fall, winter, and spring. When blossoms, it gives off a radiant look of pinks and reds, which strikes perfectly against the green shrubbery it lives on.