The significance of the Alabama state flower, the Camellia japonica, is simply that the ladies of Butler County, Alabama, did not think the native Goldenrod was worthy of its status. The Goldenrod, a mere wildflower and crowned the state flower in 1927, was replaced with the Camellia japonica in 1959.
The state of Alabama is the only state to have ever replaced a state flower. It is the only one of the state's symbols that is not native. The Camellia hails from Japan. On the same day it replaced the Goldenrod, Alabama also established a state wildflower, the oak-leaf hydrangea, a native wildflower.