Kniphofia uvaria (L.) Oken

Redhot Poker


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© SRTurner

Family - Asphodelaceae

Stems - Aerial stems (scapes) to +1m tall, erect, herbaceous, glabrous, glaucous, simple, single from base, hollow to subhollow, from thickened root crown.

Leaves - In basal rosette, linear, grasslike, to +40cm long, 2cm broad, partially folded, either entire or with minute, sharp teeth along the margins, glabrous, glaucous.

Kniphofia_uvaria_leaves.jpg Leaves.

© SRTurner

Kniphofia_uvaria_leaf_edge.jpg Leaf margin.

© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - Dense indeterminate spikiform raceme to 20cm tall. Pedicels to 2mm long. Flowers drooping.

Kniphofia_uvaria_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Kniphofia_uvaria_rachis.jpg Inflorescence axis.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Perianth yellow to orange-red or all red, tubular, 6-lobed, glabrous. Tube to +2.5cm long. Lobes 2-3mm long, rounded to acute. Stamens 6 (sometimes 4), slightly exserted or included. Filaments to 2.5cm long, glabrous. Anthers yellow, 2mm long and broad. Style 2.7cm long, whitish, glabrous. Ovary superior, glabrous, 3-4mm long, 3-locular. Placentation axile. Fruit dehiscent by 6 valves, many seeded.

Kniphofia_uvaria_buds.jpg Flowers in bud stage.

© SRTurner

Kniphofia_uvaria_flowers.jpg Flowers close-up.

© DETenaglia

Kniphofia_uvaria_flowers1.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Kniphofia_uvaria_flowers2.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Flowering - May - June.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to southern Africa.

Lookalikes - None.

Other info. - The genus Kniphofia is popular in cultivation. Many different varieties of each species are grown. If you wish to see more of the varieties, do a search on the web, you'll find plenty of sites which discuss the genus. The plants do not occur wild in Missouri and are included here only for interest.

These plants can form large clumps over time. They produce copious nectar and are attractive to hummingbirds and insects. They do not appear to escape cultivation in most areas of the continental U.S.

Photographs taken in Auburn, AL., 5-30-05 (DETenaglia); also near Labadie, Franklin County, MO, 6-25-2023 (SRTurner).