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Red Hot Poker, Torch Lily, Tritoma

Kniphofia caulescens

Family: Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kniphofia (nip-HOFF-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: caulescens (kawl-ESS-kens) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Leandro, California

Pueblo, Colorado

Ocala, Florida

Freetown, Indiana

West Branch, Iowa

Trout, Louisiana

Durham, North Carolina

Athens, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

Belton, Texas

Great Cacapon, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 4, 2015, Callum_B from Sheffield,
United Kingdom wrote:

I grow the 'John May' selection of this plant in my zone 8b garden. It has gorgeous blue/green foliage and looks very exotic. I would grow this plant for its foliage alone but I get the added bonus of large coral 'pokers' appearing in autumn.

I have seen footage and pictures of this Kniphofia growing along the edges of streams in South Africa but I grow it alongside Opuntia, Yucca, Hesperaloe and Agave in my arid bed and it seems to cope with the very well drained conditions ( raised bed, 6'' - 12'' gravel and extremely well drained soil, sand and gravel mix below).However, a little extra irrigation for this plant is provided during very hot, dry weather (unfortunately not that common in England, though).

It's an evergreen plant that has dealt brilliantly with... read more


On Apr 9, 2012, bmottern from Durham, NC wrote:

Saw this plant in England last summer and was able to find it here in NC. In UK the plant had bright blue green foliage, here its more green but the plant looks great and has its first flowers!


On Oct 10, 2009, whyteboy_9 from Pueblo, CO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Broad leaves and orange inflorescences are as near as cold winter gardeners can come to aloes. Very impressive planted in groups of 3-5 or even larger beds. I recommend mulching heavily the first winter, but it seems to be nearly indestructible once established.Although the frequent hailstorms in my area do considerable damage, the plant always recovers quickly. This is absolutely one of my favorite plants!