The Camellia flower is native to China and found in many Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and India. Belonging to the family of Theaceae, it is a flowering shrub that was coined by renowned taxonomist Carl Linneaus. He based its etymological origin on botanist George Joseph Kamel who was at the time was researching Filipino camellias. Knowns for its thick multi-layered petals, it also goes by the name of Japanese rose or tsubaki. It blooms from late winter till early spring and braves the coldest weather and thrives in frigid temperatures. Camellias visually resemble the peony or the rose and are usually found in the colours of red, white, pink and the rarer yellow.
With over 300 species under its belt, the most common camellia flower is the camellia japonica. Other species such as camellia sasanqua, camellia oleifera harvested for its seed oil and camellia sinensis which is the tea plant are also popular. Camellia flower meaning is backed by rich cultural history that differs from one country to another. They make a valuable addition to any garden as an evergreen shrub with a good source of nectar that entices pollinators. It is a cheerful flower that can bring life to your garden and an evergreen companion till the flowering winter. Its delicate petals are a burst of freshness as they bloom when most of the flowers have died.
What Do Camellia Flowers Symbolize?
The most striking camellia flower meaning is that it is the unmatched Asian counterpart to the Western rose. It is remembered for its elegance, beauty, fame and regarded as an eternal symbol of love. Because of its nature to blossom even in uninhabitable conditions, camellias represent perseverance and resilience of the spirit. The symmetry of the petals evoke a sense of seamlessness and a desire for excellence.
In China, it is highly regarded as an emblem of undying love. This is due to camellia’s intriguing nature of shedding both the flower and base known as the calyx simultaneously. This metaphorically takes after two lovers refusing to part even in death and is the opposite of how flowers usually tend to wither. In Korean culture, camellia flower meaning has its roots as an auspicious flower used in wedding ceremonies. In Japanese tradition, camellias were known for their fierceness and valor. They were admired by samurais who wished to conquer battles like how the flower swiftly died all at once. Camellias were hence used to pay respect to fallen warriors in Japan.
In Victorian England, they were often gifted to the object of one’s desire. They were a symbol of resistance in the women’s voting rights movement in New Zealand and a harbinger of change in the movement to abolish slavery in Brazil. In the United States, Alabama has crowned camellia as the official flower of the state.
What Do the Various Colors of the Camellia Flower Mean?
Camellia flower meaning is also intrinsically different based on the colors of the blossom.
Red Camellia – Red camellias are usually given to your romantic partner or significant other. In flower language, it is one of the greatest symbols of love, passion and desire. They signify that you cherish the receiver and devote yourself faithfully and wholeheartedly to them in love.
Pink Camellia – Pink camellias symbolise yearning and the burgeoning stages of love. They are an apt flower for someone you have a crush on or even your long distance lover. They denote the euphoric rush of first love and represent the secret feelings of love, affection and delight.
White Camellia – White camellias are popularly associated with innocence, purity, admiration and devotion. They are the right choice to celebrate the platonic relationships in your life and people you look up to. These are often used in weddings. They also have a lesser known negative connotation as they are used as funeral blossoms in Japan.
Yellow Camellia – The yellow camellia maybe the minority among the colors but its bright hue makes it a fascinating flower for gifting. Due to its rare presence in very few parts of the world, they make the perfect flower for gifting to someone unique in personality or special to you such as a best friend.
Interesting facts and characteristics of the Camellia flower
– Camellia sinensis has been blessed with great levels of caffeine. Its petals and leaves are processed to make green and black tea. It has many progressive effects on the mental and physical health.
– The most memorable symbolism of the camellia flower meaning is found in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird where it represents the characters’ feelings of retribution and compassion.
– The camellia flower also found relevance in haute couture when Coco Chanel took a liking to a bouquet of camellias she was gifted. Camellias were soon integrated into many of the high fashion house’s products.
– The camellia still appears in 21st century pop culture. RM, the leader of the Korean supergroup BTS has penned a song called Winter Flower with the Korean singer Younha. In the lyrics, the camellia flower is praised for its dauntless spirit in overcoming winter’s adversities.
– Camellias are a great shrub to keep animals such as deers and cows at bay as they are deterred by its scent.
– In many cultures around the world, camellias are an integral part of decoration for festivities and holidays.
– Camellia leaves and petals are also used for medicinal and cooking purposes. In Chinese traditional medicine, it is used as part of herbal concoctions. Edible oil is also extracted from its seeds.
Best Time to Gift Someone Camellia Flowers
The various shades in camellia flower meaning make it a beautiful all-rounder choice for multiple occasions. It can be planted in your garden to light up the landscape in dynamic colors. Red camellias are one of the supreme flowers for gifting your lover on Valentine’s Day. Pink camellias can be sent to your loved ones on days you miss them and long for their presence. White camellias can be given to those you respect such as an elderly family member or a teacher. Yellow camellias make a colorful choice for anniversaries, birthdays and festivals. Be it to convey your unyielding love to someone or simply cheer up a friend, camellias are a great choice. These winter blossoms are guaranteed to remind the receivers that even the darkest days will come to an end and spring will follow.