“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 louder colors, are more suitable to modern schemes, but are just as hardy and reliable. The thick, almost succulent leaf blades are mostly evergreen, and of interest even when the cylindrical flower spikes are absent. Heat and drought tolerant.
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