December 10, 2015
Alabama State Flower - The Camellia
January to February
The Goldenrod was the original state flower of Alabama from 1927 to 1959 but was replaced because the ladies of Butler County considered it little more than a weed.
Highly valued in Japan and native to Asia, the Camellia is Alabama’s only state symbol that’s not native to the State!
Camellia japonica wears its crown proudly; it’s an easy-to-grow, evergreen flowering shrub with incredible austerity and breathtaking beauty. Camellias attract botanists, horticulturists, landscapers and hobby growers alike with their pretty, smooth, polished leaves and exquisite form. These attractive and subtly sweet flowers bloom from November to March, peaking in January and February.
Camellia flowers are large and prominent with anywhere from five to nine petals. They vary in color but generally are found boasting brilliant shades of white, pink, and red (and even yellow in a few species). From Birmingham roadsides to Selma State Park and beyond, the Camellia is found blooming affluently throughout the State Parks of Alabama, as well as along hiking and mountain trails, highways, thoroughfares and home gardens.
The Camellia is cultivated quite a bit in the southern United States; the yearly Alabama crop alone provides about two-thirds of Camellias for the whole eastern part of our country. So it’s not just the South that loves this blooming beauty. The rest of the country and its gardeners, floral lovers, and growers of all types have increased the Camellia’s use and popularity significantly!
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Top image courtesy of Paranoia Wire.