Over the years this plant has changed its latin name from Tritoma to Kniphofia, and the hybridists have also extended its colour range. A word of caution – you can buy a Red Hot Poker and it may be all-red, yellow or even white, so choose with care if you want the traditional red-tipped variety Whatever the flower colour, all produce clumps of grass-like foliage and spikes bearing long tubular flowers. Mulch in late spring and water in dry weather. Cold winters can be a problem. In autumn remove the flower spikes, tie the leaves together and cover with peat.

VARIETIES: The popular choice is a variety or hydrid of K. uvaria – height 2.5-5ft. Spacing 3 ft.

Flowering period: July- September For a ‘true’ poker – red or orange at the top and yellow at the base, choose ‘Royal Standard’ ‘The Rocket’ ‘Springtime’ or H.C. Mills’. Forsinglecolours, pick ‘Alcazar’ (orange). ‘Maid of Orleans’ (white)or ‘Bees Lemon’ (yellow). The giant is ‘Samuel’s Sensation’ (5-6 ft. red) There is a dainty orange dwart – K. galpinii

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Divide overcrowded clumps in spring

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