Google+Southern Stems: Camellias - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

I don’t know about y’all, but it has felt positively springlike here the last few days! In fact, our office even moved out to the front porch one day last week – it doesn’t get more Southern than that!!

Because we’re ready for chirping birds and brilliant green grass and everything else that comes with a Southern spring, we wanted to kick off a new series: Southern Stems! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring several of the blooms particularly prized below the Mason-Dixon Line. Let’s begin with the camellia!

Camellia image by yocca; overlay by SW

Gorgeous, no? The camellia is such a soft, romantic flower, and it just seems quintessentially Southern to me. It’s also the state flower of Alabama. Lucky ‘Bama gals! Here are two botanical prints to give you a close-up look at those ruffly petals:

The botanical print on the left is available for purchase here, and the print on the right is available for free download here!

My research turned up various “floriography” meanings for the camellia, including graciousness, steadfastness, honesty, excellence, and “my destiny is in your hands.” All lovely, and perfect for a wedding!

Both images from Southern Living

Camellias are known for their big, luscious blooms. Because they’re heavy flowers, they like a little support, so floating them in shallow bowls or propping them up in short vases or pitchers is best. Loosely grouped vases of these blooms would be perfect as a long, low centerpiece down a reception table – nothing to block conversation!

Photo on left from Better Homes & Gardens; photo on right from Martha Stewart Living

Camellias bloom in all shades of pink, red, white, making them perfect for almost every color palette.

Adeline Country Cottage

Possibly my favorite characteristic of camellias is that they bloom in winter and early spring, when not too many other flowers dare to show their faces!

Browne Photography via Style Me Pretty

For those who would like to see camellias up close and personal, now is the perfect time! Descanso Gardens in Flintridge, CA, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, NC, and Middleton Place just outside of Charleston, SC, all have great collections. Middleton, in particular, boasts hundreds of different camellia specimens, as the first camellia in America was reportedly presented to Henry Middleton in 1786!

Photo on left from Better Homes & Gardens, and on right, by Amy Neunsinger from House Beautiful

Finally, if you’re marrying in a season when camellias are not in bloom, but would still like to show your Alabama pride in flower form, we love these delicate paper versions from The Green Vase:

Images from The Green Vase

What’s your favorite Southern stem?

emily Written with love by Emily
11 Comments
  1. avatar Ashley reply

    I am SOOO happy y’all are doing this series now!! I am positively clueless about flowers and have needed a breakdown of the names and styles :) what a great idea! Thanks!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Ashley! I’m so happy to hear it! Look for many more blooms in the coming weeks :)

  2. avatar Acanthus Nichole reply

    What a lovely post. The camellias remind me of my growing up at my Grandmother’s. She had several Camellia bushes along the house in the back yard and I loved to pick them when I was young.

    I love all of the beautiful ways you’ve shown this flower. They are unique and beautiful!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    So excited for this new series!!

  4. avatar Katie S. reply

    I’m so excited you guys are starting this series!! I’m planning on using magnolias and gardenias at our wedding, and love their quintessential southern qualities!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Ooo, great picks, Katie S.! We will definitely be covering those two in the weeks to come!

  5. avatar Meredith Perdue reply

    Having moved away from the South a few years ago, I find myself longing for the region’s lovely blooms! My favorites: camellias, magnolias, gardenias, and dogwoods!

  6. avatar good things : spring anticipation | beka stays reply

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  7. avatar Chelsea reply

    What a great series! I can’t wait to see the rest of the posts. Gardenias and magnolias are, of course, two of my favorite Southern flowers :)

  8. avatar Sarah Ellenburg reply

    I love the camellias; I am getting married June 6th in South Carolina, do you think they’ll be in bloom still then?

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