In China, the camellia represents the union between two lovers. The delicately layered petals represent the woman, and the calyx (the green leafy part of the stem that holds the petals together) represents the man who protects her. The two components are joined together, even after death. Typically when the petals of a flower fall off, the calyx will stay intact. With camellias however, the calyx and petals fall away together, which is why the camellia also represents eternal love or long-lasting devotion.