Camellia – Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism

Camellias – what spiritual meaning do they convey? Well, like most flowers (especially pretty ones) the camellia brings to us various meanings. It’s also important to remember, depending where you are in the world, a camellia can have a significantly different meaning.

Camellias Are About Love

A double bloom, all petals overlapped and layered, immediately conjures notions of love. A “double” flower in gardening lingo is a strain of a flower with extra petals packed into the flowerhead. It makes sense that a camellia’s domesticated flower is linked with love. After all, a camellia’s double bloom is quite similar in appearance to a rose—the quintessential love flower.

But, like roses, the type of love a camellia flower conveys depends on what color the flower is.

White Camellia Symbolism

First of all, a white camellia communicates a sort of pure love.

white camellia
By そらみみ – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

It’s the type of flower you might gift to a dear friend or family member. Also, white flowers are important symbols of peace and calm. It is this conveyance of peace that makes white flowers—like white camellias—pertinent choices for funerals and condolence gifts for the recently bereaved.

Pink Camellia Symbolism

Whereas, pink camellias represent a more romantic form of love.

pink camellia
By Federigo Federighi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Pink would be a good choice where red—a passionate color—would be too forward. Pink camellias say I love you and I care for you. Also, pink camellias are specifically used when you miss somebody or are longing for them. So, if your loved one is away on an extended trip then a bouquet of pink camellias is an excellent choice.

Red Camellia Symbolism

And now we come to red!

red camellia symbolism meaning love passion
By A. Barra – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Red, of course, is a very passionate color. Depending on the mood of your relationship, red flowers can be a perfect choice. To gift red camellias is to make your partner aware of the passion you feel for them. Also, think of them as a classy alternative to red roses. Because if you have a partner who is bored by the unoriginal, sending red roses could be critical faux pas! So, when in doubt, send red camellias instead.

Camellia and the Color Yellow

Camellias are white, through pink, to red—right? Well, traditionally, yes. But, traditions don’t always last forever. In 1989 a yellow camellia emerged from California—the dutiful work of horticultural academics and amateur enthusiasts. So, we also have to think about the meaning of yellow camellias.

yellow camellia spiritual meaning
By 阿橋 HQ – 金花茶 Camellia nitidissima (Camellia chrysantha)
[香港動植物公園 Hong Kong Botanical Garden],
CC BY-SA 2.0,

Yellow has less of a broad association with love. It may well be that your partner enjoys the color yellow, in which case yellow would be a good romantic choice. But, unless you know your partner enjoys yellow, then it’s better to go with pink or red.

That doesn’t mean that yellow camellias don’t have a special meaning. Quite the contrary, they symbolize strong friendship when gifted from one to another. Furthermore, yellow flowers are symbols of joy and intelligence. So, if you want to bring some happiness into your home, then a bouquet of yellow camellias is a great choice.

Nicknamed the “Rose of Winter”

When it comes to hope, like a light in the dark, there are few symbols as powerful as the camellia. This is because the camellia flowers in the wintertime. To see a camellia bloom in depth of winter, is to take on a message that although things might seem bleak, something vibrant, vital, and beautiful is still possible.

rose of winter name being camellia
By A. Barra – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

In your personal life, if you feel as though you are going through a personal and metaphorical winter, allow the camellia’s winter blooms to remind you of something important. That is, no matter how tough your current situation is, you can still find the energy, joy, and personal power to overcome and bloom. You can do it.

Camellias Are Evergreen!

It goes without saying that if a camellia is blooming in the winter then it is certainly an evergreen plant.

evergreen symbolism
By Ryan Hodnett – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The importance of evergreen plants and trees cannot be understated. They persist as a powerful symbol of eternal life. Their deciduous peers shed and regrow their leaves, which is a symbol of the eternal cycle of life, death, and inevitable rebirth. Whereas, evergreens symbolize the underlying energy behind all creation—it persists, it cannot be destroyed.

Camellias in China

China has a very special and specific meaning associated with camellias. The camellia flower represents a strong and romantic bond between two lovers.

In particular, the elegantly overlain petals represent the inherent beauty of the divine feminine. Whereas, the calyx—which are green, leaf-like appendages at the base of the flower—represent the divine masculine. This is because the calyx exists to reinforce—i.e. protect and nurture—the flower in all its beauty.

Further Reading

Header Image Photo Credit
By 阿橋 HQ – 華東山茶-重瓣玫瑰型 Camellia japonica Double Rose
Form [深圳園博園茶花展 Shenzhen Camellia Show, China],
CC BY-SA 2.0,