Camellia, the State Flower of Alabama
Plant of the Month
In the winter when most flowering plants are dormant, camellia blooms brighten up the landscape. Camellias begin to bring color to the landscape starting in November and continuing to March and April. The blooms vary in size from 2” in diameter to more than 5” in diameter. There are six identified flower forms. Camellia blooms range in color from white to dark red with all shades in between. Some cultivars will have multiple colors like red and white.
Camellias are native to China, Japan, and parts of Asia. There are about 42 species of camellias. C. japonica and C. sasanqua are two of most common species found in the Mobile area. If you drink tea, you are using the leaves of C.sinensis to make it.
Camellias are grown along the west coast of the USA and from southeast Texas to Delaware including in states on the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean. Depending on the cultivar, camellias can grow in semi-shade areas to full sun.
- Harry Surline
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Master Gardeners are Extension-trained volunteer educators. Under the direction of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, this program has a two-fold purpose: to increase the availability of home horticulture information through qualified volunteers and to extend the land-grant mission across Alabama.
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