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Kniphofia uvaria

Kniphofia uvaria
Best performance yet - 2009
red hot poker; torch lily
Typically anemic performance
Common name red hot poker; torch lily
Family asphodelaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers yellow/orange
Light sun

Photos of this perennial with its upright two-tone flower spikes invariably look much more dramatic than what we achieve in our garden. We've had two specimens, both planted in full-sun areas, and they don't even manage to bloom every year. The mop of strappy foliage isn't anything special, so without flowers, there's not much show. I should find out what conditions or treatment will entice them to perform more enthusiastically.
On a side note, I once spotted a reputable gardening magazine suggesting the pronunciation for this genus was nee-foh-FEE-uh, which still rates as the most delightful botanical mispronunciation I've come across. The German professor Kniphof (k-nip-hoaf), for whom this plant was named, would have had a good laugh.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Last modified: July 07, 2009
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