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Kniphofia (Torch Lily or Red Hot Poker)
at Digging Dog

Including Kniphofia caulescens, Kniphofia linearifolia, Kniphofia pauciflora, and Kniphofia uvaria

Kniphofia

Kniphofia

Torch Lily or Red Hot Poker

“Red Hot Poker” is the local nickname for these bold, handsome natives of Madagascar and tropical South Africa. Brought to England in 1707, they were kept as greenhouse treasures until 1848, when someone had the bright idea of planting them outdoors, and their abiding hardiness was discovered.

The old-fashioned orange and yellow form has survived years of neglect in abandoned gardens here on the coast; the new hybrids and species we offer, in versatile creamy yellows, chartreuses, soft melons and bolder colors, are more suitable to modern schemes, but are just as hardy and reliable. The thick, almost succulent leaf blades are evergreen, and of interest even when the cylindrical flower spikes are absent. Heat and drought tolerant.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus


Kniphofia ‘Alcazar’  full sun

Alcazar is a Spanish translation of the Arabic word for castle, and this luscious Kniphofia deserves royal treatment for its splendid show. From a nest of lancelike leaves, chartreuse-tinted buds elongate on thick, bronzy stems to form majestic tapered spires of a dark rosy terracotta, which age to a rich salmon-orange. Pair with Cardoon for a lively tango of color and form.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 3-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Alcazar’ (p-0806)
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Kniphofia ‘Bee’s Sunset’  full sun
Kniphofia  Bee’s Sunset

The abundant and long lasting yellow-orange flower spikes of vigorous ‘Bee’s Sunset’ will cast a warm glow on neighbors such as Buddleia crispa, Lavandula ‘Super’ and Geranium ‘Purple Pillow’.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 4' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 5.

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 2014

Kniphofia ‘Bee’s Sunset’ (p-0541)
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Kniphofia ‘Bleached Blonde’  full sun

Not all bleached blondes turn heads like this one does. Blooms of sandy blonde topped with auburn adorn this softly colored beauty. Anchored by vigorous medium green, bladelike foliage, slim 5 in. long flowers have a repeat bloom, imparting greenish yellow shades at summer’s end.

First introduced by Olympic Coast Gardens, ‘Bleached Blonde’ can be matched with Phygelius ‘Pink Elf’.

Blooms June & again in August.

Size: 3'–4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Bleached Blonde’ (P-1117)
Each $10.00
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Kniphofia ‘Border Ballet’  full sun

Like many of the best ballet dancers, this cultivar is tall, elegant and full of stamina. We found this selection at Western Hills and have propagated it by divisions to maintain the soft dusty coral color of the flowers, which continue blooming throughout the summer. For a contrast of color and texture, we often plant this near Thalictrum rochebrunianum.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 4-1/2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Border Ballet’ (P-0386)
Each $9.75
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Kniphofia ‘Bressingham Sunbeam’  full sun

Graceful copper-tinged stems emerge from a refined, narrow-bladed, green-gray base. Awash in yellow with amber and bronze accents, the slender sunny blooms set its diminutive silhouette aglow.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Bressingham Sunbeam’ (P-0707)
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Kniphofia caulescens  full sun
Kniphofia caulescens

The narrow leaves of this seedling selection are in sharp contrast to the large straplike foliage typical of the species. Glaucous blue blades make a dramatic base for the subdued rainbow of earthy colors: thick, coppery flower stems, clay-colored buds and rich terracotta blooms, which eventually pale to a light greenish yellow. For more drama, plant by Caryopteris incana and Achillea ‘Inca Gold’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.


Kniphofia caulescens (p-0757)
Each $11.00
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Kniphofia citrina (Lime Select)  full sun

One of our own seedling selections, this stunning form of Kniphofia citrina will surely brighten your garden with a refreshing splash of citrus color. Above clumps of glaucous leaves, the vivid lime green buds open into dense chartreuse flowers that later fade to light yellow.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 2-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia citrina (Lime Select) (P-0651)
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Kniphofia ‘Cobra’  full sun

Distinguished by seductive dark bronzy hues and tapered bases, this Kniphofia’s broad flower heads evoke mysterious images. As the close-knit, 6 to 10 in. long pokers mature, they gradually lighten, imparting rich copper colors and creamy yellows on sturdy stems above a coarse basal tuft of sword-shaped bluish green leaves.

A Blooms of Bressingham introduction, ‘Cobra’ promises toasty easy-to-blend shades that can be associated with Agastache ‘Black Adder’ and Eryngium bourgatii.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 3'–3-1/2' high x 2'–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Cobra’ (P-0758)
Each $9.75
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Kniphofia ‘Dorset Sentry’  full sun

Counting orioles, hummingbirds, and studied gardeners among its fans, ‘Dorset Sentry’ brandishes big fat green buds and even larger plump acid yellow torches on beefy, bronze-toned upright stalks. A green bed of toothed bladelike leaves anchors the sun-struck blooms that last for months and bridge the gap between summer and fall. Selected by a John May, this moderately sized Kniphofia breathes enthused late season energy into the garden and can flank a pathway, stand sentinel at a threshold, or occupy a midborder position.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Dorset Sentry’ (P-1762)
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Kniphofia galpinii ‘Orange Flame’  full sun
Kniphofia galpinii Orange Flame

Alighting slender stems, these dainty flowers smoulder with fervent salmon and saturated orange. A foundation of finely textured grass-like foliage hosts the loosely arranged blooms, which are quieted by dusky hued unopened buds and smoky purple-tipped individual florets. Projecting a vivacious yet sophisticated demeanor, 'Orange Flame' makes a compelling container subject.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 15"–2' high x 15"–18" wide; hardy to zone 8.

Kniphofia galpinii ‘Orange Flame’ (P-1216)
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Kniphofia ‘Gladness’  full sun

When the bronzed apricot buds finally unfurl into lucent golden orange torches that seem to glow from within, we promise you'll be glad. Numerous, cinnamon-toned sturdy stalks are unleashed from a midsized roost of creased grayish green leaves margined with tiny teeth. Rotund and broad in the middle, the substantial flowers convey a free wheeling radiance.

Blooms July – August

Size: 2'–3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Gladness’ (P-1457)
Each $9.75
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Kniphofia ‘Glow’  full sun
Kniphofia  Glow

Once this Kniphofia blooms, you’ll see why it was dubbed ‘Glow’. Solidly colored coral torches honed with dark rosy overtones shine above a handsome, not–so-tall, foliar foundation distinguished by composed blue-green hues and tiny teeth along each leaf margin. Sized just right for a front row location in the border or a smaller garden. ‘Glow’ imparts a flashy propensity, especially when Geranium harveyi and Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ are planted nearby.

Blooms July-August.

Size: 2'–3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Kniphofia ‘Glow’ (P-1272)
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Kniphofia ‘Goldfinch’  full sun

Conjuring images of cheerful yellow songbirds, this spirited Kniphofia is aptly named. Rising from narrow and glaucous medium green blades, the sturdy, yet graceful stems support good-sized cylindrical blooms. Each inflorescence consists of delicate florets—long, slender and pendulous—arranged in an airy fashion. Bring a sunny lift to your summer border and site ‘Goldfinch’ by Liatris ‘Kobold’ and Salvia ‘Sensation Rose.

Blooms June–early August.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Goldfinch’ (P-0947)
Each $9.75
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Kniphofia ‘Green Jade’  full sun
Kniphofia  Green Jade

Still esteemed by Beth Chatto who introduced it in 1968, this captivating Kniphofia first originated as a seedling selection in Sir Cedric Morris’s Suffolk garden. Bold long cylinders in icy lime-green shades convey a distinguished sense of composure and are without a doubt the greenest torch lily blooms we offer.

Arising from green buds above broad verdurous straps and stalwart stems, the densely packed, irresistibly colored florets are crowned with a dusky orange tuft and eventually lighten to a creamy chartreuse from the bottom up.

Blooms July – September.

Size: 4'–4-1/2' high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Green Jade’ (p-1319)
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Kniphofia ‘Ice Queen’  full sun
Kniphofia  Ice Queen

Selected by Alan Bloom, this upright species is remarkably robust. The deep green foliage is broad and straplike, the flower stalks are thick and sturdy, and the vibrant chartreuse buds open into 6 in. lime-yellow flowers, which fade to light yellow. We plant ‘Ice Queen’ beside Anemone ‘Alice’ for an unusual but delightful combination with the late blooming pink flowers.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Ice Queen’ (p-0409)
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Kniphofia ‘Jan Brennan’  full sun

Flaunting one of the brightest, most rotund torches we have ever seen, this jaunty Kniphofia was discovered by Gretchen Hahn, a former staff member, in the backyard of a local north coast resident. Unknown to us and most likely a hybrid of Kniphofia uvaria ‘Nobilis’ which has naturalized in our area, it bears the owner’s namesake. The large radiant florets graduate in color, beginning on top with a salmon hue that shades to tangerine and then transmutes to antique gold supported by a lemon-yellow base.

Bolstered on bronzed olive-tinted stems above brawny medium green leaves, the exuberant display can be staged alongside Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ for unbridled oohs and awhs!

Blooms August – September.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Jan Brennan’ (P-1341)
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Kniphofia ‘Light of the World’  full sun

An illustrious contender for the late season border, ‘Light of the World’ boasts showy, long slender torches. Green-tinged buds open to reveal dainty flared, pendulous florets lit in lucent tangerine orange shades. Pointed, low growing grassy leaves with pale midribs ground this small-statured, first-rate Kniphofia, which can be granted a front row seat accompanied by Nepeta ‘Little Trudy’.

Blooms September.

Size: 2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Light of the World’ (P-1655)
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Kniphofia linearifolia  full sun
Kniphofia linearifolia

Large, pumpkin-colored flower buds seem to glow atop the thick purplish stems of this robust species. Visually supported by broad straplike foliage, the enormous, nearly round orange flowers eventually fade to yellow at the base. Combine with Aster ‘Lady in Black’ and Salvia ‘Limelight’ for a stunning display of purple, chartreuse and orange.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 6' high x 4' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia linearifolia (p-0653)
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Kniphofia ‘Lye End’  full sun
Kniphofia  Lye End

This toasty-hued, perky cultivar first caught our eye at Cotswald Garden Flowers, owned by Bob Brown, England’s renown Kniphofia enthusiast. It has since become one of our favorites for its long and slender, loosely set racemes. Tipped with burnt coral tones, the blooms fade to melon in the middle and finally brighten to a creamy yellowish sherbet base, which features larger, more pendant florets. The colorful splendor bursts forth from earthy red and greenish-tinged buds elevated on supple, slightly bronzed stems above green foliage.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Lye End’ (P-1273)
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Kniphofia ‘Minister Verschuur’  full sun
Kniphofia  Minister Verschuur

With ample-sized blossoms and a medium-sized profile, this exuberant Kniphofia is ideal for smaller gardens. Stiff jade-toned narrow blades and lusty bronze green stems support moss-hued tapering buds and bright yellow flowers. A subtle apricot cast suffuses the lit up torches, which feature pendulous evenly spaced close-set florets and promise a colorful presence throughout most of the summer.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 2'–2-1/2' high x 18"–2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Minister Verschuur’ (P-1704)
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Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’  full sun
Kniphofia  Nancy’s Red

Looking for a midsized plant to accentuate a hot-colored border or ignite a cooler one? ‘Nancy’s Red’ may be your girl. Delicate olive-green stems lift brick-red buds and waxed, dusky coral-red florets, which become more pendulous with age, flaring out to reveal creamy yellow tips. Shaded in such rich colors, the slender, somewhat open cone-shaped blooms achieve an ardent contrast against low growing, narrow green leaves.

Clearly in a class of her own—undemanding, flamboyant yet refined and well groomed—Nancy gives you good reason to entice her into your garden bed and keep her where she’s easily seen.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’ (P-1385)
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Kniphofia x ‘Naudes Nek’  full sun

We found this upbeat, not-yet-identified Kniphofia at Ernie and Marietta O’Byrne’s Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, Oregon. Originating from seed they had collected in Naudes Nek, a rather cold region of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains, it conveys a lighthearted charm with narrow, bright green channelled foliage and an intriguing floral display. Round-tipped, squat buds exhibit a glowing potpourri of colors from top to bottom: earthy brownish orange with chartreuse tinges, an amber midsection and a golden yellow base. The buoyant blooms elongate on slender green stems and turn more tangerine as they mature, showing off a happy face amid Thymus ‘Archer’s Gold’ and Geums.

Blooms August.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia x ‘Naudes Nek’ (P-1387)
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Kniphofia ‘Painted Lady’  full sun

Upstaging many a perennial in the summer border, this svelte temptress celebrates AGM status, sophisticated hues and a refined stance. Burnt coral buds offer a surprise as they elongate to narrow, 7 in. long cream-colored spears that subtly transmute warm orange and amber shades near their tops.

Bred by Eric Smith at Buckshaw Gardens, ‘Painted Lady’s long blooming gala is supported by strong bronzy green stems and a lower growing green base.

Blooms June – August.

Size: 3' high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Painted Lady’ (P-1656)
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Kniphofia pauciflora  full sun

Originally inhabiting the marshy grasslands of Kwazula-Natal, South Africa, this Ariel-like Kniphofia is sadly extinct in its wild haunts, but will gladly impart a lighthearted smile to your landscape.

Slim grassy blades folded along the midribs are the understory for airy and slender, buttercup yellow pokers. Tubular, flared and widely spaced, the dainty pendant florets open from coral buds for several months, then rebloom later in the season.

Blooms June–July.

Size: 18" high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia pauciflora (p-1456)
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Kniphofia ‘Percy’s Pride’  full sun
Kniphofia  Percy’s Pride

The tightly clustered light yellow to lime flowers of this Torch Lily are just about the largest of all the species we offer. They bloom several times each year, and contrast strikingly with the inch-wide straplike leaves. For a range of yellows, we plant ‘Percy’s Pride’ with Symphytum ‘Axminster Gold’.

Blooms May–June.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Percy’s Pride’ (P-0205)
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Kniphofia ‘Safranvogel’  full sun
Kniphofia  Safranvogel

Uniquely infused with a strawberry hue, the slender, creamy tapers of bloom are anchored by thin grassy green blades. ‘Safranvogel’s distinctive coloring and small stance begs for an up-front position in the border.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 2' high x 20" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Safranvogel’ (P-0946)
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Kniphofia ‘Safranvogel’ x ‘Maid of Orleans’  full sun

We have British Kniphofia aficionado, Bob Brown of Cotswald Garden Flowers to thank for this ethereal beauty. Staged on lithe bronzed stems, the distinctive flowers feature widely spaced, rich reddish coral florets, each narrow, pendulous tube tinged yellow at the base and curved up at the tips.

The aging long, slender blooms lighten and become even more open, attaining an unmatched delicacy and lovely subtle coloration that’s reminiscent of its ‘Safranvogel’ heritage. Quiet, sublime and almost other-worldly, this unusual cross is shown to best effect when planted in multiples against a dark background.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 2' high x 15" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Safranvogel’ x ‘Maid of Orleans’ (P-1386)
Each $10.50
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Kniphofia ‘Shining Sceptre’  full sun
Kniphofia  Shining Sceptre

Noble stands of copper-tinted golden scepters command our attention in the midsummer border. Supported by soothing green blades and lengthy bronze-hued stems, these thickset, good-sized blooms cast lambent accents upon the cool, blue-violet blooms of Aconitum ‘Arendsii’ and Geranium renardii ‘Phillipe Vapelle’.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 4' high x 18"–2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Shining Sceptre’ (p-1187)
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Kniphofia sp. (Patricia Marrow)  full sun

When we came across this extraordinary Kniphofia in Patricia Marrow’s garden in Somerset, England, it was mysteriously unlabeled. Stout, bronzy flowering stems with lime-colored buds rise above rosettes of narrow grayish green foliage. Lively and large, the greenish yellow blooms are tipped with a dusky melon color, and eventually fade to creamy white from the base up.

Blend with Nepeta ‘Pool Bank’, Cistus ‘Anne Palmer’ and Euphorbia ‘Great Dixter’ for a vibrant spectrum of color.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 4' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia sp. (Patricia Marrow) (p-0759)
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Kniphofia uvaria ‘Candle Light’  full sun
Kniphofia uvaria Candle Light

Sun-kissed torches, a compact habit and an exceptionally long flowering period earn this well-mannered Kniphofia a chance to illuminate our border. Verdant low growing foliage makes a fine textured base for supple green stalks and green-tinged yellow buds, which mature into splendid 5 in. blooms, creamy yellow on top and alabaster white below.

Introduced by Georgia’s Richard Saul, small-statured ‘Candle Light’ can be showcased in the frontlines along with Echinops ‘Blue Glow’ for a spirited match. (pp#12,342)

Blooms May – October.

Size: 2'–2-1/2' high x 2'–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia uvaria ‘Candle Light’ (P-1569)
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Kniphofia uvaria ‘Malibu Yellow’  full sun
Kniphofia uvaria Malibu Yellow

Shouldered by thick green stalks, the richly colored, bright yellow blooms combine with this Kniphofia’s robust stature to bestow a grandiose presence in the border. Composed of large, pendulous, evenly spaced florets that open from grassy green buds, the ample-sized torches radiate unforgettable, look-at-me, sunlit chroma, while topping sprightly green, strapping blades.

Blooms May–July.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 7.

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 2014

Kniphofia uvaria ‘Malibu Yellow’ (p-1292)
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Kniphofia uvaria ‘Tower of Gold’  full sun  new plant

Famed horticulturist Luther Burbank, gardening at his residence in Santa Rosa, California until 1926, selected this golden beacon that's guaranteed to brighten summer's end. A verdant stocky thicket of upright dark green foliar blades hurls forth strong olive bronze stems and big plump pokers. The gregarious densely set blooms first emerge with a lime-infused somewhat triangular shape, then take on rich yellow hues and a rounder appearance upon maturity. Cohorts such as Helianthus 'Dakota Queen' or Artemisia 'Huntington Gardens' make for a statuesque pageant.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 4'–5' high x 2-1/2'–3' wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia uvaria ‘Tower of Gold’ (P-1808)
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Kniphofia ‘Vanilla’  full sun
Kniphofia  Vanilla Kniphofia  Vanilla

Slender blooms in a soft shade of pale yellow are staged well above finely textured foliage. This courtly Kniphofia echoes ornamental grasses such as Panicum and makes a friendly color-mate for Eupatoriums and Geraniums.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 3' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.


Kniphofia ‘Vanilla’ (P-0240)
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Kniphofia ‘Wayside Flame’  full sun

Like a candle flame, this flower is both bright and yet soft orange. To give our summer garden warm accents, we plant robust ‘Wayside Flame’ near Lavandula ‘Silver Frost’.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 4-1/2' high x 2' wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Wayside Flame’ (p-0410)
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Kniphofia ‘Wol’s Red Seedling’  full sun

The superb scarlet-red blooms of this British raised cultivar are deemed the deepest and darkest red of all Kniphofia blooms in cultivation. A gorgeous profusion of slender fiery hued flowers enlivens the landscape all summer long, while the bushy small-sized mound of shiny dark green grassy blades assures a refined habit that easily tucks into space thrifty gardens.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Kniphofia ‘Wol’s Red Seedling’ (P-1763)
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Kniphofia ‘Yellow Cheer’  full sun

Bolstered by hefty, tall and straight asparagus-hued stalks, dense yellowish orange buds, infused with chartreuse, remind us of miniature Christmas trees. Radiant yellows, pumpkin colors and lime tinges meld an unparalleled luminosity as the gorgeous torches stand sentinel, their plump rounded bases tapering to blunt tips well above a bright green, upright clump of strapping, deeply furrowed lax leaves.

A robust specimen for the fall garden, ‘Yellow Cheer’s late season effervescence steals the show, especially when staged against a dark green foil. One per customer.

Blooms late August to mid-October.

Size: 5' high x 3' wide; hardy to zone 8.

Kniphofia ‘Yellow Cheer’ (p-1458)
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Kniphofia ‘Yellow Hammer’  full sun  new plant

This rarely offered Kniphofia is a favorite of songbirds and hummingbirds, and is earlier to bloom than most Torch Lilies. Large nectar-rich, well-formed lemon yellow heads unfurl from acid green buds on tall sturdy stalks above an easily maintained medium green bed of narrow arching evergreen foliage. 'Yellow Hammer', possibly named after a small Eurasian yellow-breasted bird, can be nestled alongside Euphorbia 'John Tomlinson' for foliar contrast and melding flower colors.

Blooms late May–June.

Size: 3'–3-1/2' high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia ‘Yellow Hammer’ (P-1809)
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Latest News

Straight from the Border: Enjoy autumn splendor in your garden.

Most gardeners experience a bittersweet sense of relief when the light finally shifts, lengthening shadows, shortening the days, and lulling the garden closer to it’s winter nap. Relieved of most of our watering duties, we usually have more time to pour ourselves a favorite beverage and slowly saunter through our leafy havens.

With mindful plant selection, a keen design sense, plus appropriate maintenance earlier in the season, a compelling fall garden will be yours to enjoy! During October and early November, our landscapes can offer extraordinary vignettes that celebrate a dynamic juxtaposition. Imagine brilliantly ignited leaves and stems, fanciful berries and glowing grass inflorescences set against the subdued beauty of diverse seed heads, peeling bark, artful limbs and mocha-hued fading foliage.

If you long for more blossoms later in the season, a mid-summer cut back of many herbaceous late-bloomers guarantees flower-power up until the first heavy frost. Along the same vein, a late spring pruning of tall architectural perennials ensures the longevity of their impressive stature, even as they morph into dormancy. Trimming the early spring flowering perennials that showcase exceptional foliage will keep them looking fresh throughout the fall.

The onset of cooler weather tends to be a good time to contemplate your plantings, taking note of the areas you may like to change. Try not to rush your fall cut-backs, since many spent flower heads as well as persistent fruit nourish the birds, and remember to be on the lookout for wondrous additions to your dried arrangements.

Whether they play a supporting role or act as shining stars, the exceptional plants mentioned in this newsletter promise to delight you with their fantastic late season appeal. Many regions across the country experience a safe fall planting period that extends into early November, so you may wish to dig some of these easily grown gems into your garden and get a head-start on next spring!

Perennials:

  • Anemone x hybrida ‘Alice’
    Unlike many Anemones, ‘Alice’ spreads slowly, growing into a clump 3 ft. across within three years. It is robust and upright with large leaves that outsize the foliage of most hybrida forms. In our garden, the semidouble soft pink flowers appear to float against a hedge of Carpinus and contrast well with the golden fall foliage of Amsonia hubrichtii. Hardy to zone 4. (p-0503)
    anemone

    Anemone x hybrida ‘Alice’

  • Aster lateriflorus ‘White Lovely’
    Calico Aster
    A preeminent star of the fall show, ‘White Lovely’ entertains petite, thin-petaled white daisies tinged lilac when mature and brightened by sunny-side-up yellow eyes. The copious, late summer flowers are borne along horizontally branched leafy sprays of arching and wide-angled, purple-streaked stems with small, slender dark green foliage that never tuckers out. We like to plant Monarda ‘Violet Queen’ and Melianthus ‘Antonow’s Blue’ behind while headlining this elegant Aster right up front. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1366)
  • Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’
    Aromatic Aster
    Mr. Raydon Alexander of San Antonio, Texas, said this hearty mint-scented Aster was his favorite, and we’re sure you’ll agree. Originating near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, drought tolerant ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ quickly forges a valiant, dense mound that gets buried under multitudes of bright blue-lavender daisies. With late richly colored flowers, distinguished by sunlit yellow eyes and fine-textured single rays, and a no-fuss, orderly nature, it proves indispensable in the fall border. Zone 3/4. ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ (P-1611)
    aster

    Aster oblongifolius ‘Raydon’s Favorite’

  • Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’
    Awash in a mercury-like effulgence, broad heart-shaped leaves are etched by light green veins creating the most dramatic crackled ceramic pattern. ‘Jack Frost’s highly refined silvered persona offsets bronze, green and gold foliage, while sky-blue flowers add a playful lift. A Walters Gardens’ introduction that originated from a ‘Langtrees’s sport, this Brunnera brings sterling accents to the darker corners of your garden. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1353)
    brunnera

    Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

  • Eupatorium purpureum
    This robust cousin is from the taller side of the family (up to 6 or 7 ft.), and shares the wine red stem coloring of its smaller kin. Eupatorium purpureum features a stately carriage with broad, domed heads hosting purple-mauve flowers. It’s tough, reliable and effective for the back of the border. Hardy to zone 4. (p-1081)
    eupatorium

    Eupatorium purpureum

  • Euphorbia griffithii ‘Great Dixter’
    Renowned garden writer Christopher Lloyd, selected this Euphorbia for its sumptuous display of fiery hues. Heightened by purple coral shoots, reddish bronze stems, dark green foliage flushed with copper-red tints and burnt apricot-pink blooms, ‘Great Dixter’ seldom experiences a lackluster moment. The unforgettable brilliance that emanates from this superb, compact griffithii can be shown to great affect next to Brunnera ‘Langtrees’s soothing colors. Hardy to zone 6. (P-1232)
    euphorbia

    Euphorbia griffithii ‘Great Dixter’ with Calamagrostis foliosa

  • Geranium ‘Orion’
    Named after one of the brightest constellations in Europe’s night sky, this possible ‘Brookside’ seedling extends a shining floral display. Large, saucer-shaped and brilliantly blue flowers enhanced by violet-red veins and luminous whitened centers levitate above a mass of ample, finely dissected greenery. Courtesy of Dutch nurseryman Brian Kabbes, long blooming ‘Orion’ can be partnered with Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’ for sparkling color. Hardy to zone 5. (P-1266)
  • Helleborus niger ‘HGC Jonas’
    Promising early winter floral magic, this superbly bred selection boasts a luminous bevy of yellow-stamened crisp white petals atop burgundy stems. Defined by 7 petals, as opposed to the usual 5, and a light green or blush pink coloration as they age, full forward-facing flowers rise from dark green toothed leaves that shape a lustrous evergreen foil. Perfect for holiday decorating, ‘Jonas’ can be enjoyed in bouquets, in a lightly shaded mixed planting or a magnificent container specimen on the patio. Hardy to zone 5. (P-1806)
  • Phlomis russeliana
    With architectural assertiveness, stout straight stems broadcast separate whorls of butter yellow hooded blooms. Maintaining a stalwart beauty throughout the winter, the stalks look equally impressive whether fresh or dried as they stand above large and broad, heart-shaped olive-green leaves. The fuzzy, scalloped foliage develops into a plush low growing, evergreen cover that keeps those pesky weeds at bay.In our garden, Phlomis russeliana casts bold accents along a pathway, assorting with Aster ‘Ringdove’ and Molinias. Hardy to zone 4. (p-1314)
  • Salvia confertiflora
    With velvety, reddish purple stems, smooth, bright green new foliage that matures to a textured dark green, and fuzzy, vermilion flowers, this Brazilian native is lush and tantalizing. Wonderful cut or dried, the 6 to 10 in. long flower spikes make a bold statement in the fall border with Asters and grasses, and combine beautifully with mounding perennials. Hardy to zone 9. (p-0214)
  • Salvia nemorosa ‘Amethyst’
    With the violet-blue tones of the blossoms, and the similar but rosier shades of the enduring calyxes and prominent streaks that mark the leafy upright flower stems, this richly colored Salvia is a jewel. With wavy-edged foliage, this long bloomer exhibits a handsome fullness. Softening the edge of our pathway in the company of Origanum ‘Ed Carmine’, a violet theme is created, while the addition of Kniphofia ‘Border Ballet’ adds a lively splash of melon to the picture. Hardy to zone 5. (p-0813)
  • Salvia uliginosa
    Uliginosa means "of the marshes", in this case those between the forests of southern Brazil and Argentina's fertile pampas. Eye-catching white flecked azure blue flowers soar atop slender branching stems lined with narrow lance-shaped green leaves. A quick-to-establish colonizing perennial, Bog Sage presents an airy, strong and erect habit that doesn't need staking and flourishes in moist niches along streams or ponds and in ordinary garden conditions, even tolerating heavy or dry soil. For a spectacular effect, plant it alongside Anemone 'Andrea Atkinson'. Hardy to zone 6. (P-0997)
  • Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Maroon Beauty’
    Strawberry Begonia
    Named for its slender strawberry-like red runners and flashy maroon undersides, this colonizing Saxifraga hosts intricately etched evergreen rosettes of thick rounded gray-green leaves with scalloped margins, silver hairs and pewter veins. Rising above the low growing velvet soft mat, wispy 5-petaled pink-tinged white flowers are loosely arranged on delicate 18 in. stalks. Appreciative of shade and evenly moist well-drained soil, ‘Maroon Beauty’ lends enchanting accents to the woodlands, rockery or a small container. Hardy to zone 7. (P-1819)
    saxifrage

    Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Maroon Beauty’

  • Selinum wallichianum
    This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels. Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, appreciates a well draining moist niche and can be sited amid Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’ and Echinacea Big Sky ‘Sunrise’. Hardy to zone 7. (p-1406)
  • Sedum telephium ‘Karfunkelstein’
    Fancied as one of the rising stars at the 2006 RHS Sedum Trials, this exceptional Ernest Pagels prodigy has a dainty demeanor. Copious rose red buds and small dusky pink flower heads crest a close-knit sea of upright multibranched green stems infused with lavish beet red shades. Ideal for gardens where space is scarce, the short stalwart stalks never flop and are clad in toothed gray-green spoon-shaped leaves with slate purple overtones, heightening ‘Karfunkelstein’s prismatic presentation. Hardy to zone 4. (P-1717)
  • Verbena bonariensis
    Brazilian Vervain
    A celebrated perennial whose fans include both experienced gardeners and novices, and florists and hummingbirds, this versatile South American native delivers outstanding flower power. Rough, lance-shaped dark green basal foliage gives way to wiry and sparsely leafed angular-branching stems, which elevate a consortium of tiny lavender violet blooms. With fragrant flowers borne in dense tufts atop its airy profile, Brazilian Vervain brings a colorful carefree look to cottage gardens or more wild venues, especially when paired with ornamental grasses. Hardy to zone 7. (P-1720)
  • Yucca dismetiana ‘Blue Boy’
    Dressed in gray icy greens and powder blues with a dusky purple overlay, this handsome pastel-hued treasure exhibits a tough disposition. Rigid evergreen leaves with sharp pointed tips and fine-toothed margins craft a rounded barrel-like rosette that develops slowly, its amethyst coloration intensifying as the weather heats up. Waxy white pendulous flowers draped on stout panicles deliver late summer sparkle. Unfazed by mettlesome deer, drought, moisture and humidity, ‘Blue Boy’ can harmonize with Melianthus ‘Antonow’s Blue’ and Festuca ‘Superba’. Zone 7/8. (P-1495)
    yucca

    Yucca purpurea

Grasses:

grasses

Grasses and hornbeam columns

  • Andropogon gerardii
    Big Bluestem
    Historically renowned as the sod our ancestors broke their backs busting, Big Bluestem is the most widespread of all the prairie grasses. Its regal and wild color show makes it a must in our garden. Growing to great size, the stand’s lush, blue-blushed summer greenery becomes a burgundy and copper glory at first frost. Soaring three-pronged red seed heads beg its other common name, Turkeyfoot. Reliable, heat tolerant and sturdy, Andropogon gerardii thrives in poorly drained clay to dry sandy soils, and easily transitions the outskirts of your garden into the wild meadow beyond. Hardy to zone 4. (g-0448)
  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
    Karl Foerster’s Feather Reed Grass
    Named for pioneering German nurseryman Karl Foerster, this selection bears loose and airy 12 in. seed heads, which tighten to slender plumes by midsummer. Rising above 2 ft. clumps of narrow green foliage, the inflorescences create an ideal semitransparent veiling effect. Plant with deep green Viburnums to accentuate its golden flowering stems. Hardy to zone 5. (g-0003)
  • Eragrostis chloromelas
    Blue Lovegrass
    Witness the ethereal haze of sheer amber-colored panicles floating on lax 3 ft. stalks over long fine cut powdery blue blades and you'll see why we love this gorgeous South African denizen. The flowing warm season mound spreads slowly over time, while the gauzy inflorescences tantalize birds, butterflies and the rest of us through early winter. Appreciative of fast draining locations, Blue Lovegrass makes a sterling drought tolerant specimen or mass planting. Flank with Pennisetum spathiolatum and tall Molinias, and intersperse Sanguisorba ‘Chocolate Tip’ or Aster ‘Blue Danube’ for a spectacular painterly effect. Zone 6/7. (G-0540)
    eragrastis

    Eragrostis chloromelas

  • Hakonechloa macra ‘Beni-kaze’
    With the same overflowing grace as its relatives, newly introduced ‘Beni-kaze’ entertains brilliant red fall colors. The lax green mound of loosely arranged, draped blades remains green until cooler weather ignites the smooth foliar ribbons and begs its name, which translates “red wind.” Lolling in the late season shadows, this larger growing Hakonechloa echoes the warm-hued fanfare of autumnal foliage. Hardy to zone 6. (G-0497)
  • Miscanthus sinensis ‘Positano’
    A graceful standout, ‘Positano’ warms the fall landscape with sunkissed colors. Large, red, glistening plumes are cast well above the impressive upright fountain of arching, fine textured blades. Etched by pewter midribs, the foliage grows in a sophisticated crisscross pattern and when fall arrives, transmutes toasty reds and oranges. Revered grass aficionado Ernst Pagels raised this clump-forming cultivar whose first-class profile and rich hues can accentuate Rudbeckia ‘Goldquelle’ and Helianthus ‘Capenoch Star’. Hardy to zone 5. (G-0491)
  • Pennisetum spathiolatum
    Slender Veldt Grass
    A denizen of South Africa, this drought tolerant evergreen grass has low growing, narrow dark green blades that provide a verdant contrast to its tawny colored tapers. The dense, abundantly produced inflorescences hover on jointed nearly invisible stems, some 2 to 3 ft. tall, while fashioning a delightful see-through veil. Especially mesmerizing when grouped in a dry creek bed, a meadow or a water wise garden, the Slender Veldt Grass asks only for a well drained abode. Zone 6/7. (G-0511)
    pennisetum sesleria hydrangea

    Pennisetum spathiolatum (back), Sesleria ‘Greenlee’ (front) and Hydrangea paniculata

  • Sesleria ‘Greenlee’
    John Greenlee’s Moor Grass
    Exhibiting attributes from both parents, this tidy looking evergreen, discovered by grass aficionado John Greenlee, is thought to be a hybrid between Sesleria caerulea and Sesleria autumnalis. Blue-tinged green blades bear a likeness to Sesleria cearulea’s, but are longer, while the blooms resemble those of Sesleria autumnalis, except for being thicker, more elongated and for turning a purplish brown hue when mature. Topped by reflective green inflorescences with creamy yellow pollen sacs, thin stems rise well above the versatile upright clump that maintains its composure through a multitude of exposures such as sun, shade, moisture, heat or drought. ‘Greenlee’ renders a sprightly verdant statement whether massed in a meadow or a more formal setting. Zone 6/7. (G-0525)

Shrubs:

  • Aronia melanocarpa ‘Iroquois Beauty’
    A versatile North American native originating in Morton Arboretum, this small-statured deciduous shrub proposes something exceptional for each season: fragrant spring flowers, courtly summer foliage, brilliant fall color and persistent winter berries. Flaunting an autumnal pageant of stunning red, burgundy and purple hues, lustrous, deeply green, thickened leaves garb the compact, dense multitude of suckering stems. Airy, Hawthorne-like flowers gathered in white, 2 in. wide, eye catching corymbs precede the heavy clusters of polished purple-black berries that gracefully weigh down branches and bring color to gray December days. Obliging of low-lying wet areas, dry sandy sites and some shade, easy-to-grow ‘Iroquois Beauty’ thrives in full sun and can reside with equal ease in a small garden, a mixed border or a naturalized setting when planted en masse. Hardy to zone 3. (S-0600)
    pennisetum sesleria hydrangea

    Aronia melanocarpa ‘Iroquois Beauty’

  • Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’
    Purple Beautyberry
    A beacon for the fall border, this deciduous Korean species is considered by many to be the most refined Beautyberry, and its boldly hued early September fruit occurs well before other varieties. Small and shiny, rounded berry clusters achieve an astonishing, almost electric lavender hue. Flowers are delicate, diminutive and pink, quietly dressing up its handsome, very green leaf mass and gracefully rounded form. ‘Early Amethyst’ prefers well drained soil, tolerates some drought, appreciates a late winter pruning and produces more fruit when planted in groups. Hardy to zone 5. (S-0587)
  • Escallonia laevis ‘Gold Brian’
    Spangled with incandescent, gleaming golden foliage and terminal panicles of long blooming raspberry-colored flowers, this drop-dead gorgeous evergreen shrub promises to delight you throughout the seasons. The dashing medium-sized rounded leaves are leathery and toothed, transmuting fresh lime-green shades during the summer. Acquiescent to salt spray and varied soil conditions, even dry ones, ‘Gold Brian’s bushy hard-to-miss visage demands a well-drained abode, a trim immediately after the blossoms are spent and protection from hot afternoon sun. Zone 7/8. (S-0759)
    escallonia

    Escallonia laevis ‘Gold Brian’

  • Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow Queen’
    Though its name might make you think otherwise, this shrub is a showcase of earth tones. Its 8 in. long panicles of white flowers, which later take on a pinkish hue, stand out like snow against the beautiful cinnamon-brown, exfoliating bark and the large dark green Oak-like leaves that turn reddish purple in autumn. Hardy and undemanding, ’Snow Queen’ offers a fantastic fall display full of similar colors and contrasting forms when matched with Panicum ‘Warrior’. Hardy to zone 5. (S-0201)
  • Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’
    Left to its own designs, this vigorous Hydrangea has a natural upright and arching form, but it also responds well to pruning, making ‘Unique’ an effective choice where space is scarce. The immense flower heads are spectacular and abundant, and true to name are unique in shape, being quite broad at the base and bluntly rounded at the tip. They begin the season a creamy white and gradually darken to a buff pink. Hardy to zone 3. (s-0348)
    hydrangea

    Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’

  • Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’
    A newly introduced English cultivar, ‘Golden Lanterns’ has the same tantalizing attributes as the species but with an illuminated twist. Dark burgundy bracts and berries become intriguing counterpoints to amber-tinted new growth and the lambent yellow-green foliage that promises to brighten your daytime, or even moonlight garden stroll. Zone 6/7. (S-0609)
    leysteria

    Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’

  • Viburnum plicatum f tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’
    The most exceptional attribute of this deciduous Viburnum is its horizontal growth habit, featuring flowers and fruit in parallel rows along the branches. Distinguished by a smaller stature, and foliage that’s not quite as large as Viburnum ‘Shasta’, ‘Summer Snowflake’ maintains a more rounded form and blooms well into summer with an extravagant offering of pure white lacecap flowers. It’s lovely in containers, grouped in a drift, or as a star specimen. Hardy to zone 5. (S-0075)

Trees:

  • Chionanthus retusus
    Chinese Fringe Tree
    Named for its clustered, snow-white fleecy flowers, the broadly spreading Chinese Fringe Tree casts light shade with rounded leathery leaves. This deciduous Olive family member is a captivating, four season specimen displaying blue, egg-shaped summer fruit, warm yellow autumn foliage and peeling gray-brown bark in winter. Well sized for a lawn or small yard, it’s easily cultivated in moist, loamy soil. Grows slowly. Hardy to zone 5. (T-0008)
  • Cornus capitata
    Evergreen Dogwood
    An elegant, large evergreen shrub or small tree, this slow growing Dogwood is a perfect anchor for the shrubby border. Handsome, curved leathery leaves with light green veins provide a pleasing texture and turn bronze in the winter months. Buttonlike flower heads surrounded by creamy yellow bracts precede the long lasting, prominent, pinkish red strawberry-shaped fruit that appears in November and can be brought inside as a colorful complement to holiday greenery. Hardy to zone 8. (S-0364)
    dogwood

    Cornus capitata

  • Parrotia persica
    Persian Ironwood
    F. W. Parrot, who made the first ascent of Mt. Ararat in 1829, lends his name to this low branched, round headed, deciduous Persian native with tremendous landscape value. In spring, the silver, green and cream-colored smooth bark is complemented by lustrous green foliage and in autumn it’s highlighted by exquisite gold, rosy pink and crimson tones. Later, showy red stamens and wooly brown bracts create a reddish haze around bare limbs, making a virtual carousel of color and texture. Pest free Persian Ironwood prefers well drained soil and detests both overly wet or dry conditions. Grows moderately. 10’ in 6–8 yrs. Hardy to zone 5. (T-0016)

Current Staff’s Favorite Plant

staff favorite plant

We love Correa ‘Dusky Bells’ for it’s dainty red tubular flowers that are sprinkled amongst waxy green leaves, becoming one of winter’s more endearing attractions. The dainty long lasting blooms appear in autumn and persist through early spring, luring both gardeners and hummingbirds alike. Whether utilized as a low mounding specimen in a large vessel or as a tidy evergreen ground cover for banks, hillsides or other tough spots, the Red Australian Fuchsia favors good drainage and light shade where it’s hot. This densely branched shrub is undaunted by deer, ocean frontage, poor rocky sites, and occasional drought. Affiliate with other steadfast companions like Ceanothus ‘Concha’ and Stipa arundinacea. (S-0735)

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