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
Our favorite plant this week: What's not to love about this adorable Primula? Steeped in charm and easily grown, this hard-to-find old-fashioned Primrose promises to please with nearly evergreen foliage and a blooming season, extending from spring to fall. A plentiful showing of rose-like buds and splendid lilac-pink double flowers adorn broad textured spring green foliage that forms a generous long-lived clump. Bright shade, well-drained soil and above average moisture will ensure its success.
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