Beauty, grace and a hearty condition define both the people of Alabama and its state flower. The symbol flower of Alabama is the camellia with good reason. These plants are the perfect example of genteel elegance, but with a solid foundation. Situated firmly in the “Old South,” Alabama produces a citizen proud of her culture, elegant in her breeding and confident in her ability to fight her own battles as necessary.
By comparison, the camellia is a showy flower with blowsy petals and pretty foliage grown on a large bush. Camellia bushes are hearty and easy to grow. The plants are evergreen and make beautiful shrubs in an ornamental or natural garden. The flowers of the camellia plant are notable for their bright colors, exquisite form and sturdy nature.
Unlike most flowering shrubs, the camellia shows its strength by growing best in shade or semi shade. If that weren’t unexpected enough, the blossoms of the camellia plant reach their peak in January and February. While the rest of the garden is faded or almost lifeless, the camellia emerges in brilliant splendor.
The camellia has a lengthy blooming season as well reaching from November through March, and the blossoms are long-lasting when they do arrive on the plant or in arrangements for floral delivery. The ruggedness and surprising strength of the camellia makes it an ideal flower for a state such as Alabama that has fought and rebuilt after many struggles throughout its history.
The people and plants of Alabama are graceful, welcoming and beautiful. The camellia fits this model so wonderfully it’s hard to imagine that the flower is not actually native to the great state. Camellias can be found in 82 different species all over the world. The Deep South and Asian countries such as Japan, China, Malaysia and India are home to the most renowned variety of camellias, although the camellia is not necessarily native to Alabama. In Japan especially, the camellia blossoms are especially renown.
Growing camellias requires the proper soil conditions and lighting. Camellias grow best in well-drained, shady areas. They are hearty once established, and clippings of the camellia can be used to start new plants anywhere shady in your yard. Before planting camellias, be sure to check the sort of blossom the plant produces. Some create single rows of blossoms and others double.