Alabama State Flower
Adoption of the Alabama State Flower
In 1927 a bill was introduced in the Alabama Legislature by Representative T. E. Martin, of Montgomery County, proposing the goldenrod as the official state flower. Many years earlier, school children had selected this flower as the state's floral emblem because, according Mrs. Marie Bankhead Owen, Director of the Alabama Department of Archives & History in 1930,
The goldenrod became the official state flower of Alabama on September 6, 1927, the same day that the Yellowhammer became the state bird. It represented Alabama well for over thirty years.
The ladies of Butler County were not fond of the goldenrod however and considered it undeserving in its role as state flower. It was a wildflower after all, little more than a weed they thought. They thought camellias more appropriate as a state representative and, even though the camellia comes from China, an August 26, 1959, the goldenrod was replaced by the camellia as Alabama's official State flower.
Because there are several types of camellia, in June 1999, the Alabama Legislature agreed to specifically name Camellia japonica as the official State flower. While they were at it and perhaps to satisfy citizens concerned about the camellia's roots in China, the Legislature adopted the oak-leaf hydrangea as the state's official State wildflower.
The Code of Alabama
The following information is excerpted from The Code of Alabama, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 1-2-11.
(a) The camellia, Camellia japonica L., is hereby designated and named as the official state flower of Alabama.
(b) The oak-leaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr., is hereby designated and named as the official state wildflower of Alabama.
(c) Specimens of the state flower and the state wildflower shall be deposited in the Auburn University Herbarium.
(Acts 1927, No. 541, p. 627; Code 1940, T. 55, §8; Acts 1959, No. 124, p. 646; Act 99–313, §1.)
First Lady Patsy Riley Announces 2005 as "Year of the Camellia": State of Alabama, Montgomery.
Camellia japonica (Camellia): Plant Encyclopedia from MyGardenGuide.
Camellia japonica: Description of the camellia from FloriData.com
Camellia Factsheet: Clemson University Extension, Clemson, SC.
State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Camellias: by Stirling Macoboy - This definitive guide to camellias by Stirling Macoboy, a leading expert on the genus, with the support of coauthor Roger Mann, presents 1,096 of the most popular species, cultivars, and hybrids. Each entry includes the flower's description (the color and form of petals), cultivars' names and synonyms, Chinese and Japanese names (as a point of fact, camellias were first cultivated in China and Japan), the date of registration, parentage, flowering season, and other historical information.
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.
U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.
Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqué, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.
Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source: The Alabama Legislature, (http://www.legislature.state.al.us/), May 22, 2005
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