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what’s the alabama state flower?

what's the alabama state flower?

what’s the alabama state flower?

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what’s the alabama state flower?

Alabama officials adopted the Camellia japonica as the state flower in 1959 to replace the goldenrod as a state symbol. The switch came after gardeners in the state petitioned lawmakers to change Alabama’s state flower,

because goldenrod is considered a weed. School children suggested goldenrod as the state flower in 1927 because it grew wild throughout the region.

Lawmakers again addressed Alabama’s state flower in 1999 when they selected Camellia japonica to differentiate the symbol from more than 3,000 varieties of the plant. This species is native to Asia but grows well in the southern United States. Camellias in red, pink, and white represent common landscaping choices that add color to yards and public areas.

These plants are valued as Alabama’s state flower because they begin blooming in late winter and early spring before other plants blossom. A dark red variety typically blooms first, with profuse numbers of flowers on each plant.

Camellias were named to honor the German botanist George Kamel. This botanist became famous for his published work on Oriental plants in the 1700s. As a Jesuit missionary, Kamel traveled to the Philippines, but historians believe he never studied the camellia in Japan or China, where the plant was first discovered.

what's the alabama state flower?
what’s the alabama state flower?

History of Camellias

Camellias originate from eastern and southern Asia. Before they became popular all over the world,

these flowers were loved by many- especially in Japan. In Japanese,

comelias are called Tsubaki, meaning “tree with many leaves.” In the Shinto religion,

they believed that the gods, when coming to earth,

would live in the Camellias. Therefore, these plants and their flowers were respected and honored. They did not even cut the flowers from the shrub as they believed it correlated with beheading.

Camellias became popular throughout the world because of the flower’s associations with tea. They say that the East India Company brought tea to Europe around 1650 where it became even more popular- especially in England.

Camellias came to the United States in the late 18th century. A man named André Michaux was a botanist and plant explorer for King Louis XVI. He went to the United States where he founded a botanical garden in the South.

Michaux also gave Camellias to one of his friends named Henry Middleton.

Why was the camellia chosen as Alabama state flower?

As Alabama recognizes its bicentennial, there’s another beautiful reason to celebrate:

60 years ago the winter-blooming camellia became the state flower, thanks to the dedication of a fervent group of flower enthusiasts. Their fascination with flora

is rooted in the bloom that goes back much further than six decades.

what's the alabama state flower?
what’s the alabama state flower?

Why is the red Camellia Alabama’s state flower?

Camellias came to the United States in the late 18th century. … Because of the overall popularity of this plant and their flowers, there was a strong push to make Camellias the state flower of Alabama. The state flower had previously been the goldenrod since 1927.

What is the color of Alabama state flower?

In its wild state the Camellia bears a single red flower with only five petals, but under man’s care it has become a double flower with many petals. Alabama’s splendid variety is a large, bright crimson flower with deep veined, rounded petals.

Why did Alabama replace the goldenrod as its state flower?

Alabama officials adopted the Camellia japonica as the state flower in 1959 to replace the goldenrod as a state symbol. The switch came after gardeners in the state petitioned lawmakers to change Alabama’s state flower, because goldenrod is considered a weed.


what's the alabama state flower?
what’s the alabama state flower?

What is Alabama’s state gemstone?

Star Blue Quartz
Alabama Gemstone Most quartz is a souvenir of volcanoes,

which melt silica,

which is then carried by water into crevices, where it crystallizes. Such quartz often includes traces of other minerals picked up by water flowing underground. The Star Blue Quartz became the state gemstone in 1990 by Act no. 90-203.Feb 6, 2014

The Environment for Growing Camellias


Some camellias can be grown in full sun, although most grow and produce better flowers in partial shade where the blooms and foliage are protected from sunburn. However, camellias in dense shade often become spindly and produce fewer blooms. A site under pine trees is ideal because pines provide filtered light year-round for growth, winter protection, and natural mulch from the pine needles. Do not plant camellias where hardwood shade trees with shallow root systems will compete with the camellias for nutrients and water. Avoid windy, exposed sites since wind can be detrimental for camellias in winter and summer.

Cold Hardiness

Varieties and the different flower forms vary in their resistance to cold. Generally, cold spells with temperatures below 20 degrees F reduce the size of the blooms. It usually takes less cold to affect the blooms and bloom buds than it takes to affect the plant itself.  Some varieties, double flowers in particular, often fail to produce typical or perfect blooms after the temperature has dropped below 20 degrees F. However, damage can occur between 20 degrees F and 30 degrees F if the drop occurs quickly after a period of warm weather.

Camellias in a northern or western exposure, unless otherwise protected from intense winter morning sun, will usually stand more cold weather than those in an eastern or southern exposure. Therefore, only early and late flowering, single, semi-double,

and peony form camellia varieties should be planted outside in the northern half of Alabama. however,

many camellia enthusiasts grow their prize camellias under protection in plastic or glass greenhouses.


Camellias will grow in sandy, loamy, or clay soils that vary greatly in their water-holding capacity and in the presence of the essential elements of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). All soils contain these elements and may also contain the trace elements of iron, magnesium, copper, calcium, and others. Good garden loam containing organic matter (leaf mold, compost, or humus) would be expected to contain these essential elements as well as the trace elements to some degree. Camellias do well in soils with an acid reaction (pH 5.0 to 6.5) and do poorly in alkaline conditions (pH above 7.0). Contact your county Extension agent for information about the soil analyses offered by the Auburn University Soil Testing Lab.

The texture of the soil determines its capacity for water retention and its ability to hold nutrients. Clay soils hold moisture longer than sandy and loamy soils, but they are less permeable. They tend to shed water unless a mulch of coarser materials (pine needles or pine bark) allows the water to filter through gently. The natural soil for camellias contains humus or well-decomposed organic matter, is acid in reaction, and is highly retentive of moisture but drains well.

Soil Aeration

The top growth of all plants is directly related to the extent and vigor of the root system. Physical characteristics of the soil, such as air and water-holding capacity, determine, to a large extent, the growth and useful activity of plant roots. An ideal soil

is actually composed of 50 percent soil particles and 50

percent pore space half filled with water.

A healthy root system results in vigorous foliage growth in camellias. Excessive soil water fills the air spaces and reduces the oxygen for respiration by the roots. Too much soil water causes the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other gases,

which can be toxic to the roots and can provide a favorable environment for root-rotting fungi. Thus, excessive soil water kills plant roots, leaving the plant unable to absorb adequate water. This results in drought symptoms in the leaves, including wilting and browning of the margins or tips of the leaves.  Iron deficiency symptoms (yellowing between the veins of younger leaves) are often the first indications of root injury.

Although poor aeration and drainage are common causes of root problems, drought,

excessive fertilization, plants set too deep,

and other undesirable cultural practices can reduce root efficiency and result in poor plant growth. High populations of root-infecting nematodes also can reduce plant vigor by feeding on the roots and reducing the area of the root that actively supplies the plant with water and nutrients.

what's the alabama state flower?
what’s the alabama state flower?

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.

Camellia Facts

Sometimes called “the rose of winter,” the camellia (Camellia japonica L) is a native of China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. The camellia is cultivated in the southeastern United States in many

different colors and forms of flowers.

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