Interestingly, the camellia is the state flower of Alabama, the state where Maycomb is located. Having been imported from Asia, the red camillia is symbolic of longevity and the white of faithfulness. Mrs. Dubose's camellias are apparently white since in Chapter 11, she calls her camellias the "Snow-on-the-Mountain." Therefore, they are symbolic of longevity, and they do survive Jem's brutal hacking with Scout's baton. In order to demonstrate that they have prevailed, Mrs. Dubose sends Jem a perfect Snow-on-the-Mountain in a candy box. When Jem opens it, he becomes angry, but Atticus tells him,
"I think that was her way of telling you--everything's all right now, Jem, everything's all right...."
Although Jem flings the box into the fireplace, he "fingers" the wide petals thoughtfully. This white camellia is a peace offering, an offering for a long, long time.