Kniphofia citrina



Habitat: full sun


Soil: deep, fertile, humus-rich but well drained


Height: 70 cm


Flowering: summer


Width: 50 cm



Well-known as red-hot-pokers, these are not all red-hot. The classic ones have dense spikes of brilliant red tubular flowers that become yellow as they open, but there are many others that are pure red, orange, yellow or white. They all make clumps of rising, narrow, fleshy leaves, and generally flourish in damp places, even wet ones, although they also like sun - they are natives of South Africa. If you really want to be technical correct, you should remember that they are name after a German Professor Kniphof, so pronounce the K separately, then nip, and then hof (hoaf)!

Kniphofia citrina is merely yellow-hot, but this makes it all the more distinctive. The buds do show some orange colour, but the flowers are lemon yellow, becoming almost yellow-green as they fade.
2 litre pot £8.00

Kniphofia - some other suggestions
invisible.gif Kniphofia 'Bressingham Comet' is a classic red-and-yellow variety, but with more oval flower spikes than is usual, and preferring drier conditions, particularly in winter.
invisible.gif Kniphofia caulescens is like most red-hot pokers, making strong clumps of spiky leaves, with the massed tubular flowers on strong, upright stems, opening from brilliant red buds to yellow flowers. But this one is also excellent for its foliage, which is grey-green, most distinctive. In the wild (and this is a collection from the wild) it grows in wet places, but that is in Africa (Lesotho), so in Britain it should be allowed some drainage.
invisible.gif Kniphofia fluviatilis has red and orange buds opening to yellow, and inhabits grassy areas, although its name associates its with river, and its common name at home in South Africa is river poker.
invisible.gif Kniphofia triangularis has dense racemes of reddish-orange flowers. It comes from South Africa.
invisible.gif Kniphofia uvaria has tall spikes of red flower buds opening to orange and then fading to yellow above clumps of strappy, evergreen leaves. It is from South Africa.