There are 68 species in the genus Kniphofia, all originating in southern and eastern Africa. They form clumps of grass-like finely toothed foliage with strong stems rising above the foliage with flowers that look-like glowing pokers or torches, hence the common name.

The blossoms open from the bottom to top over the course of several days and change color as the blossoms mature. Most varieties begin blooming by late June and some will re-bloom until frost.

Kniphofia hybrids

Hybridizing has led to many different colors and sizes of plants for the gardener to choose from. Flower color ranges from coral red through shades of orange, peach, yellow to near white and light green. Size ranges from dwarf plants 14 inches tall to large 6 feet tall plants. Some are evergreen and some deciduous dependent on the species.

Kniphofia are a plant that can be used in the garden to make a statement, such as the 3 feet tall Kniphofia 'Apricot Soufflé', or used as a vertical accent in the perennial border. It is also has a unique structural look with the flowers stems rising above the foliage that would be a great addition to a tropical garden paired with purple or red-foliage cannas, or a more xeriscaped garden planted with Perovskia, Echinacea, and Penstemon.

Some of the smaller varieties also make nice additions to containers for summer bloom, and evergreen varieties give year-round interest. Kniphofia are attractive to hummingbirds and make a great addition to the hummingbird garden. They also make a great cut flower.

Kniphofia ‘Apricot Souffle’

Spikes of apricot flowers bloom June through August above deciduous strappy foliage reaching 3 ft tall and wide. Zone 6.

Kniphofia 'Bressingham's Comet'


Kniphofia ‘Gladness’

This blooms early summer with apricot flowers emerging from deep orange buds. A smaller, evergreen torch lily reaching 30 in. tall and 24 in wide. Zn 6.

Kniphofia 'Flamenco'
Kniphofia uvaria 'Flamenco' - Photo by

Kniphofia uvaria ‘Flamenco’

Classic yellow, orange, red flower spikes in June.

Grows 18-24" tall with blooms up to 36".

Thrives in full sun zones 5-9.

Kniphofia 'Mango Popsicle'
Kniphofia 'Mango Popsicle'
Kniphofia 'Creamsicle'
Kniphofia 'Creamsicle'

Popsicle series

A newer award winning series with a huge array of dazzling colors.

Grows 24-30" tall, compact 14-16" wide.  

Very long bloom season summer to fall.

Zones 6-9

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot