Kniphofia

Kniphofia is a large genus of about 70 Species in the Asphodelaceae family that are rhizomatous or have fleshy roots. They are from Africa, Madagascar and Yemen. Most of the species are from Africa, especially South Africa and many of the popular cultivars originated from South African species. Information about this genus from South African National Biodiversity Institute can be found here.

While Linnaeus placed the only species known to him in Aloe (as Aloe uvaria, meaning "like grapes"), Moench created the genus Kniphofia in 1794, honoring the German medic Johannes H. Kniphof. Another name which is still used in nursery cataloges is Tritoma, referencing a later description of the Genus by Ker Gawler. The common name for these plants is poker or red hot pokers because of their spikes which are often red or orange-red. Nomenclature of cultivated plants can be quite difficult, because the species hybridize easily and show considerable variation depending on the conditions of culture. Besides the general size and color, the silhouette of the inflorescence, the arrangement of leaves and the flowering time are key features for identification.

Rachel Saunders reports that seeds last well up to two years. Travis Owen sowed seeds from a hardy unknown cultivar (hardy to at least 0 °F) in late Autumn of 2014, just scratched into the surface in a potting mix with a high grit to humus ratio. The pot was kept in the light with bottom heat on a dry porch (but the pot was kept moist). The seeds germinated within a few weeks and grew on through the winter. In 2015, the "seedlings", now with leaves ten inches in height, were repotted. Below is a photo of the roots of the young plants less than six months old:

The roots of young six month old plants, April 2015, Travis Owen

Dennis Kramb asked the PBS list "Is it normal for Kniphofia to produce keikeis?". Keikei is the Hawaiian word for child and in this context means plantlet. These plants were grown from a Walmart packet of non species specific seed and are shown in the photo below.

Kniphofia keikei or plantlet, Dennis Kramb

For more information and many pictures consult David Fenwick's web site


Go to Kniphofia species pages

Go to Kniphofia hybrids page


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Kniphofia species
Kniphofia acraea, Waainek, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. acraea
Kniphofia albescens, Ellen Hornig [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. albescens
Kniphofia baurii, Naude's Nek, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. baurii
Kniphofia bruceae, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. bruceae
Kniphofia caulescens, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. caulescens
Kniphofia citrina, Mount Thomas, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. citrina
Kniphofia fibrosa, Dohne Peak, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. fibrosa
Kniphofia galpinii, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. galpinii
Kniphofia hirsuta, Naude's Nek, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. hirsuta
Kniphofia ichopensis, Ellen Hornig [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. ichopensis
Knipihofia linearifolia, Lady Grey, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. linearifolia
Kniphofia multiflora, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. multiflora
Kniphofia northiae, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. northiae
Kniphofia parviflora, Satansnek, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. parviflora
Kniphofia pauciflora, Nhu Nguyen [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. pauciflora
Kniphofia ritualis, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMaster [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. ritualis
Kniphofia rooperi, Lauw de Jager [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. rooperi
Kniphofia sarmentosa, Mary Sue Ittner [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. sarmentosa
Kniphofia stricta, Balloch, Rod Saunders [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. stricta
Kniphofia thodei, Roy Herold [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. thodei
Kniphofia thomsonii, David Fenwick [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. thomsonii
Kniphofia triangularis, Gaika's Kop, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. triangularis
Kniphofia typhoides, Ina Crossley [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. typhoides
Kniphofia uvaria, Bainskloof, Bob Rutemoeller [Shift+click to enlarge, Click to go to wiki entry]
K. uvaria
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Page last modified on February 12, 2017, at 08:40 AM