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Kniphofia ‘Cobra’
at Digging Dog

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 ‘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)
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Other selections in this genus


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Our favorite plant this week: We love Viola ‘Rebecca’ for it's sweet, delectable scent and tidy compact clumps of dapper evergreen foliage. All are equally captivating, though no two are alike, each ebullient white flower showcases a creamy lemon flushed center and irregularly patterned, deep violet edges. This sweet smelling Viola should be ensconced near a well-traveled path or seating area, where its plentiful color flecked flowers can be easily relished ‘till the first hard frost.

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