Common name: Tritoma, Red hot poker, Torch lily or Poker plant
Originally from: Africa, Madagascar and Yemen.
Blooms: Red, orange, yellow, cream to lime green flowers on various hybrids.
Light: Full sun.
Water: Rain is plenty. No summer water needed, but enjoys a little and flowers better with it.
Height x width: 3-5' wide x 2-5' tall.
USDA Zones: 6-11
Where to find in P. Garden: We have several! One in almost every bed right now.
|Kniphofia uvaria "Flamenco"|
Brought to the UK in 1707, they were kept carefully in greenhouses until 1848, when someone had the bright idea of planting them outdoors, and their great hardiness was discovered.
Tough and drought tolerant, these are a great plant for a low water garden - some species more so than others. They all like excellent drainage, and hummingbirds are attracted to their copious nectar, and if you keep them deadheaded they'll continue flowering for many months.
We have quite a few of these, as mentioned. Here's a rundown:
|Kniphofia thomsonii |
Kniphofia northiae “Octopus Red-Hot Poker” Well worth growing for the foliage alone! Astonishing, Aloe–like rosettes, 4-6’ across, sport extremely wide leaves – to 6” across - with vibrant orange and yellow flowers. Ours is still a tiny baby, in the middle front bed.
Kniphofia thomsonii (Alpine Poker) is among the more strikingly distinct Kniphofia. The well spaced individual flowers, each gracefully down-curved, give the plant a unique look. Ours is planted at the top of the dog area, in front of a bronze colored Phormium tenax.
Kniphofia uvaria is a mostly winter rainfall species that grows in seeps, marshes, and streams on sandstone slopes and flowers in spring. We have a group of three in the brights bed.
Kniphofia uvaria "Flamenco" - an early flowering type in yellow, orange and fiery red.
"Pineapple Popsicle" - yellow to cream flowers on this one. It's new, and lives in the left bed.
"Yellow Cheer" - dense yellowish orange buds, infused with chartreuse open to pumpkin-yellow flowers late in the season. I can't actually remember where I put this one...
UPDATE June 2016:
Well these are some super-tough plants but there have been some ups and downs. Dwarf Yellow, Pineapple Popsicle, Wayside Flame, and whichever one I put in the middle back bed are doing great. K. thomsonii - sad face! I would plant another in a less drastic spot though. K. northiae was presumed dead, but resurrected! Still hasn't flowered yet. I gave it some compost and a drink.