Kniphofia uvaria (L.) Oken
Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily, Redhot Poker
This stunning South African native is gradually becoming naturalized in California. They are members of the lily family. The genus Kniphofia is named for a German physician and botanist, Johann Hieronymus Kniphof.
Identification: Plants reach 3-4' (91-121 cm) in height, and are 24-36" (60-91 cm) around. (There are many larger and smaller cultivars as well, such as ‘Nancy’s Red’.) Leaves are long and narrow, up to 24" (60 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), like a tuft of large grass. Large oval-shaped flowerheads form on a stalk in the center of each plant. Unbelievably cool flowerheads are composed of hundreds of tubular flowers, red on top, grading through orange to yellow on the bottom. The flowers are favorites of hummingbirds.
Kniphofia uvaria on Calflora
Kniphofia uvaria in Paghat's Garden
Kniphofia uvaria at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Kniphofia uvaria on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Kniphofia uvaria on CalPhotos
Kniphofia uvaria description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Jan 2019.
Range: Zones 5-10: