The camellia "the rose of winter," is the official state flower of Alabama. It was designated the official status in 1959. The camellia replaced the goldenrod flower that had been adopted in 1927. The flower appears on the Alabama quarter. The oak-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr) was adopted in 1999 as the official wildflower of the state. It is a deciduous shrub that grows to between six and eight feet in height and can be found across the state. During spring, spikes of white blooms appear above the large green oak-shaped leaves. Unlike the oak-leaf hydrangea that is native to the state, the camellia is native to Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. It is cultivated in the southeastern United States in different forms and colors.
History Of The State Flower
In September 1927, Alabama adopted the goldenrod as the state flower and the yellowhammer as the official state bird.Controversy surrounded the goldenrod as citizens of the state argued that the wildflower did not deserve the official status. In August 1959 and after more than thirty years the golden road was dethroned by the camellia as the state flower. In 1999, the Alabama legislature specified the state flower as the Camellia japonica and adopted the oak-leaf hydrangea as the official wildflower. The camellia is the only state symbol of Alabama that is not native to the state.
Characteristics Of The Camelia
The Camellia japonica stands proudly as the state flower because it is an easy-to-grow, evergreen flowering shrub with incredible austerity and captivating beauty.The plants attract botanists, landscapers, hobby growers, and horticulturalists. Camellia flowers are prominent with between five and nine petals. The flowers vary in color but can generally be found with brilliant shades of pink, white, and red. The flowers bloom between November and March with January and February being the peak.
The camellias are distributed throughout the state of Alabama from the roadsides of Birmingham, state parks, mountains, home gardens, highways, thoroughfares, and horticultural gardens. Alabama accounts for about two-thirds of the camellias produced in the entire eastern United States. The flower is also grown in the rest of the country by gardeners and florists.
Facts About Camellia
- Camellia japonica is the most prominent species of the camellia family with is the largest number of varieties.
- The flower grows better in full shade to semi-shaded environments.
- The Camellia japonica was named after Fr. Kamel S.J., a botanist width the synonym Thea Japonica
- The flower blooms between November and March with January and February experiencing peak blooms
- Cuttings are they common and most effective methods of propagating the camellias.
- The camellia is the only state symbol of Alabama that is not native to the state or the country.It is native to India, Malaysia, China, and Japan