at Digging Dog
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.
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.
Size: 3'–3-1/2' high x 2'–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 6.
Kniphofia ‘Cobra’ (P-0758)
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Other selections in this genus
Current Staff’s Favorite Plant
This glamorous beacon for the late season garden is our favorite plant this week. Hydrangea aspera ‘Rocklon’ with it's large pink clouds of buds and pinkish bronze, downy new growth bring a soft look to this noble, rarely cultivated Hydrangea. Mounted on stout fuzzy stems, wide, hairy serrated foliage, with red-hued petioles, provides a graceful deep green foil for the enormous mauve lacecaps ringed by white bracts. Adequate water and bright shade will ensure ‘Rocklon’s prosperity, while Corydalis and Stylophorum diphyllum offer contrasting texture beneath. (S-0421)
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