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State Flower

The Alabama State Flower – The Camellia

by Nicholas Karatzas 22 Dec 2022

If you’ve been to the state of Alabama, you may have noticed a white flower called the camellia blooming in gardens and yards everywhere. This is no coincidence—the camellia is the official state flower of Alabama! Let's take a closer look at this special bloom, from its meaning to its history and more.

Meaning Behind Alabama’s State Flower

The camellia was chosen as Alabama’s state flower in 1959 because it was seen as an emblem of loveliness and beauty. It is also symbolic of wisdom, excellence, and perfection—qualities that Alabamians strive for every day.

History of the Camellia Flower

The camellia has long been associated with Alabama since it was first introduced in 1840 by Dr. Charles Allen, who brought it to his plantation near Mobile from China. Since then, it has become a favorite across the state and even inspired many works of art like literature pieces, songs, poems, paintings, sculptures, jewelry designs and more!

What Was The First State Flower of Alabama?

The goldenrod was originally the first official state flower of Alabama until 1959. The flower has bright yellow petals but is considered a weed, which is why Alabama renamed it’s state flower to Camellia in 1959! Adaptable to many different climates, goldenrods have been native to Alabama since its earliest days.

In addition to being the perfect floral symbol for the state, these flowers are admired for their hardy nature and ability to attract wildlife. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and other animals flock to these sun-loving beauties all summer long. Not only is it an attractive species of flower, but studies also show that some parts of the goldenrod also have medicinal properties! Truly an incredible bloom inside and out!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Camellia

Q: What colors are available for the camellias?

A: They come in reds, whites, pinks and other colors!

Q: How big do they get?

A: Most varieties grow to be about 3-4 feet tall but some can reach up to 6 feet tall!

Q: How often should I water my camellias?

A: About twice a week should suffice during warmer months. During winter months when temperatures are cooler you can reduce your watering schedule.

Q: What type of soil does it need?

A: The camellia prefers acidic soil with lots of organic matter like compost or manure. You can also add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to reduce pH levels if needed.

The camellia is an elegant yet resilient flower that has been cherished by Alabamians since 1840 when Dr. Charles Allen first brought it over from China. Its beauty symbolizes wisdom, excellence and perfection while also representing loveliness and grace—all qualities that embody what life in Alabama means today! Whether you already live in Alabama or plan on visiting soon make sure to take time out to enjoy these beautiful blooms before they disappear for another year!

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