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Camellia named in honor of Rosalynn Carter

Camellias come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and on Saturday, dozens gathered to celebrate the opening of the Georgia Camellia Trail.

Camellias come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and on Saturday, dozens gathered to celebrate the opening of the Georgia Camellia Trail.

Every February, Massee Lane Gardens in Fort Valley celebrates the Festival of Camellias.

On the first Saturday of February, they have free admission and a ceremony to celebrate.

Saturday they held a ribbon cutting to open the Georgia Camellia Trail, and also named a Camellia in honor of Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Rosalynn Carter was not in attendance.

Celeste Richard, American Camellia Society executive director, offered Georgia's First Lady Sandra Deal a small tree that's expected to bloom into the Camellia Japonica Sandra Deal -- which was named after her in 2015.

The ceremony continued outside with a traditional Japanese performance by a Japanese Taiko drummer group.

Sandra Deal says she plans to plant all of the flowers named in honor of first ladies in her garden at the Governors Mansion.

"It is a real honor and a privilege and I just can't express how proud I am that they would even think about doing that for me," said Deal.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development hopes that this new trail of 30 gardens will increase visitation and boost economic impact.

Visit Explore Georgia for more information on the Camellia Trail.