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Jan. 7 is Camellia Day


The Greenville Standard


Starting in December, many varieties of Camellia japonica bushes have been flowering in Greenville, the Camellia City.

A long history, with efforts by Butler County residents, surrounds how Greenville came to be known as The Camellia City, how the Camellia japonica Linnaeus came to be the State Flower of Alabama and the camellia eventually have a day in Alabama proclaimed in its honor.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension says in a publication titled ‘The Culture of Camellias,’ the most economically important species of the genus is Camellia sinensis, the common tea plant.

Camellia japonica is the most widely grown ornamental species of the genus.

Today there exist more than 20,000 varieties or cultivars of various species and hybrids generally grown by amateur camellia hobbyists.

Camellia sasanqua is another widely grown species.

Camellia shows were prominent in several cities across Alabama and garnered more attention than sporting events.

Alabama originally named the goldenrod as the state flower on Sept. 6, 1927. Camellia growers from Butler and other counties were not pleased that a weed was the official state flower.

Because of the numerous types of camellia, the 1999 Legislature specified that the Camellia japonica L. was the official state flower. On the same day, the Oak-leaf Hydrangea, native to the state, was named the state wildflower.”

In 2014, the Legislature proclaimed Jan. 7 of each year as Alabama’s “Camellia Day.” The date was picked to coincide with the start of C. japonica’s prime blooming season.

Jan. 27-28 the Greenville Camellia Society and the City of Greenville will present at Beeland Park ‘The Camellia Show.’

Novice and local entrants are welcomed to submit their entries for Blest Bloom by a Novice and Best Local Bloom.

The camellia show is already gathering much local and also national attention and should prove a big hit.



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