One of the most striking Camellia introductions of recent years, bred by Os Blumhardt in New Zealand. The semi-double flowers are very dark red, with narrow, velvety-textured petals. The flower stamens have golden anthers and pink filaments. The narrow, pointed leaves are dark green when mature, but the young growth is tinged shiny purple-red. Slow growing with an upright, compact habit making it an excellent container plant. Flowers in March/April.
This is one of the slowest growing of all the camellias that we grow, so the plants are not as large as other varieties of the same age.
N.B. The leaves of Night Rider are prone to develop dark spots (see picture), especially when grown undercover, as our younger plants are (2 litre and some 5 litre pots). We have had these tested, and it is not a disease but a physiological condition called oedema (or 'corky scab') which is quite common in camellias. It happens due to rapid changes in temperature and humidity which cause the leaf cells to rupture. On most camellias this causes a raised brown lump on the underside of the leaf, but in Night Rider the dark pigmentation in the plant also leads to the formation of these spots that are visible through the leaf. Older plants once they are outside are much less likely to develop the spots.