Kniphofia 

(nip-hoff' ee-ah)

Common name: Torch Lily, Red Hot Poker

Family: Formerly listed in the lily family, botanists now place it in a new family (Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Asphodeloideae)

Height x width: 3-5' x 4'

Growth rate, habit: moderate to fast; upright clump

Foliage: gray-green evergreen leaves 18-36" long, linear to sword shaped, keeled shape in cross section, often rought margins

Flowers: spike-like inflorescences on top 6-10" of leafless scape (flower stem); flowers bright reds to yellows, short-stalked, drooping, tubular; summer

Hardiness: zones 5-8

Soil: well-drained

Light: sun

Pests and problems: none serious, occasionally mites or thrips, crown rot

Landscape habit, uses: 3 or less together in borders as accent or specimen, containers, cutting

Other interest: genus named form 18th century German professor J.J. Kniphof; native to Africa with species first introduced into commerce in 1705

Other culture: remove flowers and stalks after bloom for repeat bloom, if foliage declines cut back halfway as well; tie foliage together in fall to prevent water entering crown causing rot

Propagation: seed of species, division for cultivars after bloom or early fall; cold moist stratify seed 6 weeks, germination may be erratic over 3 months, plants flower 2nd year from seed

Species:

uvaria (uu-vair' ee-ah)--Common Torch Lily, cultivars are often listed under this primary species, although most are hybrids with several other species
 
 

Cultivars:

The following include the most common and available in the U.S.
 
  
Cultivars height flowers bloom time
'Alcazar' 3-4' bright red early summer
'Earliest of All' 18-24" orange red, yellow early summer
'Gold Mine' 3' golden amber summer
'Little Maid' 18-24" yellow fading to cream summer
'Pfitzeri' 3' bright orange-red late summer
'Primrose Beauty' 3' primrose yellow summer
'Rosea Superba' 30-36" rose red summer
Royal Castle' 2-3' bright orange yellow summer
'Royal Standard' 3-4' scarlet opening yellow summer
'Shining Scepter' 3' golden tangerine summer
'Springtime' 3-4' upper coral, lower yellow early summer


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course