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Kniphofia caulescens
at Digging Dog

Kniphofia caulescens

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.

Kniphofia caulescens full sun

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' 0" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Kniphofia caulescens (P-0757)
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Other selections in this genus


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