Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials

Unusual Torch Lily

by Charlie Nardozzi


The red hot poker or torch lily (Kniphofia) is a South African native perennial known for its dramatic midsummer-blooming, 5-foot-tall yellow or red flower spikes that emerge from the evergreen plants. While most commercial varieties of torch lily are selections of the showy Kniphofia uvaria, there are other species that make a more delicate statement.

Kniphofia thompsonii snowdenii only grows 2 to 3 feet tall and the flower spikes feature delicate 1- to 2-inch-long, soft orange, trumpet-shaped blooms. The flowers extend the length of the flower stalk and aren’t clustered at the end like most other torch lily species. The plant slowly expands by rhizomes to 3 feet wide at maturity. The flowers also open slowly, making them great for use as cut flowers. Like most torch lilies, Kniphofia thompsonii snowdenii grows best in full sun on moist, well-drained soil in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.

For more information on this unusual torch lily, go to: Sunshine Farm and Gardens.

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