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Products > Kniphofia thomsonii
 
Kniphofia thomsonii - Alpine Poker
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asphodelaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: Africa, Central (Africa)
Flower Color: Apricot
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: 2-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Kniphofia thomsonii (Alpine Poker) - This Kniphofia, the only alpine in the genus, is an East African species that occurs up to about 13,000 ft on Mount Kilimanjaro. It grows to only about 3 ft tall in the wild, but in cultivation the inflorescences can reach 5 ft. The keel-shaped leaves are a glaucous blue green. The orange flowers are widely scattered (lax) on the last 18" of the inflorescence. This plant usually favors damp soil, but can also grow in fairly dry situations. The name Kniphofia honors Johann Hieronymus Kniphof (1704 -1763), a German physician and botanist. The pronunciation of this genus is often argued about and while most continue to use the easiest to pronounce versions such as ny-FOE-fee-ah or nee-FOF-ee-a, others argue correctly that the name should follow the pronunciation of the name it commemorates. But even for this there are differences of opinion owing to different German regional dialects - one such pronunciation often noted as correct is nip-HOFF-ee-uh while another that is particularly hard to pronounce is k-nip-HOF-ia. Keeping it simple we still use ny-FOE-fee-ah.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Kniphofia thomsonii.