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.
Originating nearly 20 years ago from a Silverhill Seed order, this hard-to-find nearly white blooming Kniphofia is a welcome choice for enthusiasts seeking light-hued Torches. The dense ovoid-shaped inflorescences showcase spectacular pearly yellow blooms that sway above strong green stalks and green glaucous blades. Though sadly losing ground due to cattle grazing in its native South African haunts, Kniphofia albescens can easily be ushered into your garden, where it promises luminous accents, especially when superimposed against Salvia corrugata’s dark textured leaves and blue floral whorls.
Size: 3' 0"–3-1/2' high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 7.
Kniphofia albescens (P-1845)
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Other selections in this genus
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