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CAMELLIA japonica 'Dixie Knight'

Image of Camellia japonica 'Dixie Knight'

James H. Schutte

Family

Theaceae

Botanical Name

CAMELLIA japonica 'Dixie Knight'

Plant Common Name

Camellia, Dixie Knight Camellia, Japanese Camellia

General Description

The flowers of 'Dixie Knight' are frilly and dark red with a cluster of golden stamen clusters at their centers. This Japanese camellia originated as a chance seedling at Central Georgia Nurseries in Macon, Georgia. Its flower buds are large, plump and a bronzy green. Each semi-double bloom has ruffled scarlet red petals with faint darker red veins. The golden yellow stamens occur in five distinct bundles among petals in the center of each flower. This compact broadleaf evergreen shrub develops a dense, upright oval habit and reaches maturity faster than many other cultivars.

Treasured in eastern Asia for centuries, camellias were brought to the western world by Jesuit missionary and botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, for whom they are named. Their attractive smooth gray branches hold oval, glossy, dark green leaves with toothed edges. From late winter to early spring, this cultivar bears large, waxy flowers that are excellent for cutting.

Common camellia grows best in partial sun to partial shade but will tolerate full sun once established, though sunscald may be a problem. The soil must be evenly moist, acid and well-drained. This plant is notoriously slow-growing, slow to establish and shallow rooted. A thick layer of organic mulch will protect the roots and facilitate better growth. Regular irrigation and applications of fertilizer promote good growth and flowering, though plants will tolerate periods of drought.

The evergreen leaves and tender flower buds may suffer from sunscald and wind desiccation in winter, so avoid planting camellia in windy, exposed areas. If needed, prune branch tips immediately after flowering, just before new growth starts in the spring. Selective, infrequent light pruning and shaping is recommended but shearing is not. This camellia does not recover well from harsh pruning practices. In the landscape, it may be used in hedges, shady foundation beds, mixed borders or as a woodland specimen plant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    9'-14' / 2.7m - 4.3m

  • Width

    4'-7' / 1.2m - 2.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    China, Japan, Korea

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Dark Red

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Semi-Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No