Kniphofia uvaria, the type species of the Red Hot Poker, is native to the Cape Province in South Africa. A majestic clump-forming perennial with long narrow glaucous-green leaves and tall architectural flower-spikes, Kniphofia uvaria is an absolutely essential and extremely easy drought-tolerant exotic, combining well with hardy aloes like Aloe striatula or Aloe aristata, to which it is related. Its dramatic racemes of tubular flowers emerge from late spring and throughout the summer; the bright orange-red buds opening from the lower-half first to reveal the yellow flowers and giving the racemes a colourful and showy two-toned appearance.
Prefering a rich, well-drained sandy soil and full sun, it is hardy in most of the UK and although requiring little attention, its overall presence in the garden is vastly improved by regular cultivation rather than the neglect it usually gets. Removing old flowerspikes, pruning old growth, watering and feeding well during the summer and mulching in the winter will create a healthy and very rewarding clump.
|Geographical Origin||Cape Province, South Africa|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Well-drained sandy soil.|
|Hardiness||Fully hardy herbaceous perennial. Mulch well|
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