Camellia flower meaning and symbolism

Native to China, the camellia flower has a rich history and even more exciting cultural significance. The flower grows wild in the southwestern region of the country and is also highly prized in Japan and other Asian nations. This flower contains multiple meanings in addition to its obvious beauty.

What does the camellia flower mean?

The camellia flower seems to speak to the heart and express good feelings. Its best known meanings are:

  • Desire or passion
  • Refinement
  • Perfection and excellence
  • Loyalty and longevity

Etymological meaning of the camellia flower

Like many flowers, camellia is the common and scientific name for these showy flowers. They were named after Father Georg Joseph Kamel when the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus, standardized plant names in 1753. Ironically, Kamel was a botanist, but he did not dedicate himself to camellias.

Camellia flower symbolism in different cultures

The camellia flower has enjoyed a rich history, its supposed inclusion in the secret gardens of the Chinese emperors is known.


The camellia flower is highly prized in China and is even considered the national flower of the south of the country. In this country the camellia flower symbolizes young sons and daughters.


In Japan, the camellia flower is called "Tsubaki" and symbolizes the divine. It is often used in religious and sacred ceremonies. This flower is also often used for the arrival of spring.


In Korea, camellia flowers are a symbol of fidelity and longevity. They have been a part of traditional Korean wedding ceremonies since 1200 BC

Victorian England:

In Victorian England, the camellia flower sent the secret message that the recipient was adorable.


The camellia flower is the state flower of Alabama and typically represents the beauty of the South.

Interesting facts about the camellia flower

The camellia flower is native to Japan and China and has been a part of their cultures for thousands of years. In fact, the Chinese were already growing camellias in 2737 BC. These flowers did not reach Europe until the middle of the 17th century, reaching North America shortly before the turn of the century.

The evergreen shrubs produce an abundance of colorful flowers against the dark green foliage. The bushes usually reach a height of between 1.5 and 1.5 meters, but can grow to be 6 meters or more if they are not trimmed regularly. The flowers resemble those of a rose and can be single or double.

Meaning of camellia colors

The meaning of a camellia flower depends in part on its color. Here we give you the most common color meanings for camellia flowers.

White: White camellias mean several things. They can signify purity, love between mother and child, or mourning when used in funeral flowers. When presented to a man, a white camellia is believed to bring luck.

rose: Pink camellias symbolize nostalgia.

Red: Red camellias symbolize passion or desire.

Red And pink: The combination of red and pink camellias expresses romantic love.

Outstanding botanical characteristics of the camellia flower

Although camellias are typically ornamental, they have other valuable uses.

  • The Camellia sinensis I know used to make camellia tea. Legend has it that tea was discovered when an ancient Chinese emperor ordered all the country's water to be boiled before drinking to prevent disease. Dried camellia leaves fell into his cup and began to soak. He was so impressed by its taste that this serendipity was the origin of camellia tea.
  • Other varieties of camellias are used in Chinese herbal remedies to treat bacterial infections, heart disease, and asthma.
  • Tea oil made from some varieties of camellia plants is used as a cooking oil in China.
  • Camellia oil can also be used to sharpen knives and other sharp blades.

The message of the camellia flower is:

The message of the camellia flower is one of love and positive thoughts. There are tons of colors available so you can mix and match in style to send the right message to the one you love.

What is the symbolism of a camellia tattoo?

If you are thinking of getting a camellia tattoo, it is probably not just because you think it would be beautiful. Most people get camellias tattooed as a representation of longing, passion, desire, and perfection.

However, the different colors can have different meanings as we already mentioned above. Pink camellias often represent longing, while white has a more innocent symbolism. A camellia flower of any color can also symbolize gratitude, love, or devotion.

When should you give a camellia flower?

Camellia flowers are appropriate for most festive occasions. If you choose a pink or red flower, be aware that you may be signaling the recipient's romantic intentions. However, white flowers are acceptable as a gift in most cases, as they often symbolize patience and fidelity.

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