Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Torch Lilies

Kniphofia
Also called Red Hot Pokers, they are genus of very exotic looking but easy to grow perennials that are part of the larger Lilaceae family.
Native of South Africa, many are surprisingly cold hardy and have been grown as landscape focal plants in many parts of the world. Likely they will become more popular, there are few more spectacular perennials than a large, well grown Torch Lily against a white stucco wall or dark evergreen background.
The showy flowers are attractive to hummingbirds.
Most are hardy zones 7 to 10 unless otherwise noted, preferring full sun on fertile, humus-rich, well drained soil. The can tolerate extended drought but grow most vigorously with reliable moisture, especially before blooming. Kniphofia also tolerates heat, humidity, salt, excessive winds and hail, many are great for planting on ocean front landscapes.
The crowns of the plants do not like excessive moisture during the winter however mulch or bunching the dried old foliage may be necessary to protect the crown during the cold months in cooler climates. Deadheading old flowers prolongs blooming season. Many are evergreen in mild climates though tidying up such as pruning off damaged leaf tips may need to be done in early spring. Named varieties may be prone to viruses. It is recommended to install new plants during spring just before the new growth begins. Older clumps can and should be divided during early spring.
Insect pests and disease are rare. Torch Lilies are NOT eaten by rabbits and deer but are great for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
* photos of unknown internet source




* photo taken on June 1 2011 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC


Kniphofia caulescens ( Blueleaf Torch Lily )
A woody stemmed, evergreen perennial, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 4 feet, that is native to the high Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa.
The foliage is often borne on a trunk up to 1 foot high.
The thick, narrow leaves, up to 48 x 3 ( rarely over 30 ) inches, are blue-gray.
The coral-red flowers, up to 1.3 inches in length, are borne on dense spikes during late summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 in full sun to partial shade. Drought tolerant.

Kniphofia citrina
Forms a foliage clump, up to 2 x 3 feet.
The lemon-yellow flowers, are borne on spikes up to 2.5 feet high, from early summer into early autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun.

Kniphofia ensifolia
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 7 x 2 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, that is native to South Africa.
The erect leaves, up to 4 feet in length, are blue-green.
The greenish-white flowers are borne late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Kniphofia galpinii
A dense, clumping, woody stemmed, evergreen perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 3 feet.
The leaves, up to 48 x 3 ( rarely over 30 ) inches, are blue-gray.
The orange flowers, up to 1 inch in length, are borne during late summer to early autumn.

Kniphofia hirsuta 'Fire Dance'
A perennial, reaching up to 1.5 x 1.5 feet, that is native to high elevations in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.
The bicolor yellow and coral-red flower spikes are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil including clay. Drought tolerant.

Kniphofia linearifolia
Extremely vigorous and floriferous, reaching up to 7 x 5 ( rarely over 5 ) feet. It is native to Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The very wide, apple green leaves, are up to 50 inches in length.
The flowers are yellow on the lower part, coral-red to orange on the upper part.
Hardy zones 7 to 10

Kniphofia multiflora
A vigorous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 2.5 feet.
The stiff, upright leaves are up to 2.5 feet in length.
The huge, erect, yellow to orange-red flowerheads are up to 32 inches in length.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in full sun on moist to wet soil. It is often found in swamps in its native habitat. It is very disease resistant.

'November Glory'
Larger leaves up to 34 inches in length.
The orange buds, open into yellow flowers.

Kniphofia northiae
A spectacular, evergreen perennial, reaching up to 6 x 6 ( rarely over 5 ) feet, that is native to South Africa. Older plants become tree-like, taking on the appearance of a Yucca with a trunk up to 4 feet high and 3 inches in diameter.
The thick broad leaves, up to 60 x 6 inches in size, are blue-green.
The yellow flower heads, borne late spring into autumn, are dense and cylindrical.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil.

Kniphofia praecox
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 3.3 ( rarely over 5 ) feet.
The narrow leaves, up to 24 inches in length, are green. The foliage forms a dense basal clump.
The coral-red flowers borne in spikes, up to 7 inches in length, during late summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 7 to 10

Kniphofia primulina
A perennial, reaching around 4 feet, bearing red and yellow flowers during late spring into early summer.

Kniphofia rooperi
A moderate growing, evergreen perennial, reaching up to 5.3 x 4 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, that is native to South Africa.
The thick leaves are green.
The flower heads, borne during late summer are yellowish-green at the base, deepening to scarlet-red towards the top.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in full sun to partial shade.

Kniphofia sarmentosa
A rhizomatous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3.3 x 4 feet, that is native to mediterranean climate regions of South Africa.
The strap-shaped leaves are blue-green.
The yellow and coral-pink flowers are borne during winter into early spring.
Hardy zones 7b to 10 in full sun, preferring winter rainfall climates.

Kniphofia thomsonii
An evergreen ( deciduous in subsp. 'snowdenii' ) perennial, reaching up to 4 x 2 feet, that is native to Kenya.
The narrow leaves are mid-green.
The large, cylindrical flower heads, borne mid-summer into autumn, are golden-yellow at the base, deepening to deep red towards the top.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 ( tolerating 14 F on very protected sites with excellent winter drainage ) in full sun to partial shade.

Kniphofia triangularis
A moderate growing, deciduous perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1.5 feet, that is native to mountains in South Africa.
The linear leaves are mid-green. The orange lower spikes may reach up to 3 feet in height. The flowers are borne early to mid-summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Kniphofia tysonii
A perennial, reaching a maximum height of 7 feet.

Kniphofia uvaria
A moderate growing, coarse evergreen perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 4 feet, that is native to South Africa.
The thick, stiff, narrow ,grassy leaves, up to 42 x 1.3 inches, are mid-green.
The orange ( sometimes yellow ) flowers, up to 1.5 inches in length, are borne on dense spikes during late summer to early autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun on very well drained soil. This plant does not enjoy winter wetness.

* photo taken on June 1 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 1 2011 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on June 9 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo


'Echo Mango'
Reaches up to 5 feet, with yellow and orange blend flowers borne all summer long.

'Flamenco'
Fast growing, reaching up to 6.5 x 4 feet with fiery yellow, orange and red flowers borne on erect spikes over a season lasting up to 3 months beginning mid summer.
Hardy north to zone 5b on protected sites.

* photos taken on July 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photo taken on Nov 13 2016 in Harford Co., MD


'Newest English Hybrids'
Reaches up to 3 x 4 feet with pastel color flowers borne on spikes over a long period of 12 or more weeks beginning mid summer.

'Nobilis'
The tallest form, with the flowers reaching a maximum of 13 ( rarely over 6.5 ) feet in height.

'Pfitzeri'
Reaches only 3 x 2 feet at most, with deep orange to red flower spikes.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

* photos taken on June 1 2012 in Columbia, MD



HYBRIDS

* photos taken on June 9 2015 in Ellicott City, MD


Kniphofia 'Ada'
Reaches up to 4 feet in height, with deep orange-yellow flowers borne during mid to late summer.
The gray-green, sharp pointed, evergreen leaves are up to 3 feet in length.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Kniphofia 'Alcazar'
Reaches up to 5 x 3 ( rarely over 3.5 ), with profuse, intense orange-red flowers borne over a long season during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


Kniphofia 'Atlanta'
A rhizomatous, evergreen perennial, reaching a maximum height of 5 x 2.7 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, with broad, glaucous-blue leaves.
The yellow and red flowers are borne during early summer.
Hardy zones 6 + in full sun to partial shade.
Kniphofia 'Bees Sunset'
Reaches up to 3 x 2 feet in size, with deciduous, serrated, linear mid-green leaves and yellowish-orange flowers borne on dark stems. The flowers are borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 8 to 10

Kniphofia 'Benary Giant'
Flowers varying in color are borne densely on sturdy stems up to 6 feet in height.
The leaves are narrow and grass-like.
Hardy zones 5 to 10 in full sun to partial shade.

* photo of unknown internet source


Kniphofia 'Border Ballet'
Very abundant flowers of red, pink, orange or yellow, borne on stalks up to 4.5 ( rarely over 2.3 ) feet in height. The flowers are borne early summer into autumn if deadheaded.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( 5 on protected sites ) in full sun.

Kniphofia 'Bressingham Comet'
A compact form, reaching up to 2.5 feet in height, with yellow and red flowers borne late summer to mid autumn. The foliage is grassy.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Kniphofia 'Brimstone'
Reaches up to 4 feet in height, with very profuse, bright-yellow flowers borne on long spikes during early to mid autumn.

Kniphofia 'Candle Light'
Reaches up to 3 feet with grassy foliage.
The bright yellow flowers are borne during early summer, repeating late summer to mid-autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun.

* photos taken on June 21 2011 in Columbia, MD



Kniphofia 'Christmas Cheer'
Forms a huge clump, that can rapidly spread up to 9 feet.
The leaves are up to 5 feet x 2 inches in size.
The flowers, borne on stalks up to 5 feet in height, are deep golden yellow.
The flowers, borne during autumn, are brilliant orange in bud.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun.

Kniphofia 'C.M. Prichard'
Reaches up to 6 feet in height, with bronze-orange flowers borne during late summer to early autumn.

Kniphofia 'Cobra'
Reaches up to 6 x 3+ feet with semi-evergreen leaves up to 40 inches in length.
The flowers are orange.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun.

Kniphofia 'Echo Mango'
Moderate growing, reaching up to 4 x 3 feet with grassy foliage and intense orangish-yellow flower plumes borne atop sturdy stems.
The flowers appear during mid-spring and repeat all summer long.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Kniphofia 'Echo Rojo'
Similar to the above except slightly taller, to 4.3 feet, with deep orange-red flowers.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Kniphofia 'Fiery Fred'
Reaches up to 4 feet in height, with glowing orange-red flowers borne during mid to late summer.
The linear leaves are mid-green.
Hardy zones 6 +.

Kniphofia 'Fire Glow'
Reaches up to 2.5 feet in height, with intense orange-red flowers borne during late summer into mid-autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photos taken on Oct 6 2012 in Howard Co., MD


Kniphofia 'Green Jade'
Reaches up to 5 feet in height, with evergreen foliage and flower heads that are creamy-white at first, aging to white. They are borne late summer into early autumn.
The foliage is mid-green.
Hardy zones 8 to 10

Kniphofia 'Ice Queen'
Reaches up to 5 feet in height, with deciduous foliage and flowerheads that are pale yellow aging to creamy-white.
Hardy zones 8 to 10

Kniphofia 'Little Maid'
Creamy-white flowers are borne on narrow spikes, up to 2.5 feet high, from mid-summer into early autumn.
The deciduous foliage is fine and grassy.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun.

Kniphofia 'Lola'
Forms a foliage clump up to 5 x 5 feet.
The flowers are borne on orange spikes up to 7 feet high.
The flower scapes are orange fading to yellow at the base.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

Kniphofia 'Mango Popsicle'
Dwarf in habit, reaching only 2.5 x 2 feet in size, with intense orange flowers borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


Kniphofia 'Pineapple Popsicle'
Dwarf in habit, reaching only 2 feet in height, with creamy-yellow flowers borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.


Kniphofia 'Primrose Beauty'
A stoloniferous perennial, reaching a maximum height of 3.3 feet.
The bright yellow flowers are borne early summer to early autumn.
The foliage is fine-textured and grassy.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

Kniphofia 'Red Hot Popsicle'
Dwarf in habit, reaching only 2 feet in height, with intense red flowers borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Kniphofia 'Red Nancy'
A perennial, reaching up to 2 x 2 feet, with fine textured, grassy, mid-green leaves, up to 18 x 1 inch.
The intense orange-red, drooping, tubular flowers are borne on dense clusters, up to 10 inches in length, during mid summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun.

Kniphofia 'Royal Castle Hybrids'
Seed grown strains, reaching a maximum height of 3.3 feet, with flowers coming in varied shades of red, orange and yellow. The flower heads themselves are often bicolored.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Kniphofia 'Royal Standard'
Reaches up to 4 feet in height, with deciduous foliage and red and yellow flowers borne during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 10

Kniphofia 'Samuel's Sensation'
Reaches up to 5 feet in height, with scarlet-red flowers borne during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Kniphofia 'Shining Sceptre'
Reaches a maximum height of 4 feet with intensely glowing golden-orange flowers borne mid-summer to early autumn.
The deciduous, linear foliage is mid-green.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

Kniphofia 'Timothy'
A long-lived perennial, reaching up to 4 feet in height.
The flower spikes are pale coral-pink at the bottom, deepening to dark coral-pink at the top. It is a repeat bloomer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

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