126 years

Camellia Japonica “Kate Sheppard.” Seen in the grounds of the NZ Parliament, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Yesterday was Women’s Suffrage Day in New Zealand.

On September 19th, 1893, the Governor General Lord Glasgow, signed into law a bill granting eligibility to vote to “all women who were ‘British subjects’ and aged 21 and over, including Māori, were now eligible to vote (the nationhood requirement excluded some groups, such as Chinese women).”

It made New Zealand the first country in the world to grant women the vote.

The white camellia was a symbol of women’s suffrage, and this cultivar, “Kate Sheppard” is named after one of the leaders of the suffrage movement.

Kate Sheppard (and the camellia) are also depicted on our ten dollar bill.

Posted to Friday Flowers

Friday flowers: Kate Sheppard camellia

Close-u shot.Camellia Japonica "Kate Sheppard." Seen in the grounds of the NZ Parliament, Wellington.  Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Camellia Japonica “Kate Sheppard.” Seen in the grounds of the NZ Parliament, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

In November 1893, New Zealand became the first country the first in the world to grant women the vote.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of this event, women MPs planted white camellias — the flower used to symbolise support for women’s suffrage — in the grounds of Parliament House. The specific camellia planted is called “Kate Sheppard“, after the our most famous suffragette.