Red Hot Poker Plant, Torch Lily

red hot poker plant

red hot poker plant

One problem with buying a home in November in Virginia is that almost everything is brown, so it’s hard to even guess at the color potential around.

The flower bed that hugs our lane appeared to be rimmed with the remains of an ornamental grass. The long, brown blades looked like liriope or monkey grass.

A few weeks ago, the plants began to grow new leaves, and a small snakelike head began to grow out of each. I’d never seen liriope sprout a head, but as a novice flower gardener, what do I know?

As usual, a lot. Keeping with tradition, the plants in town bloom a few weeks ahead of those here at our elevation, so I learned that the ornamental grass is actually a red hot poker plant, or torch lily. Ours don’t have quite the color display as some I’ve seen, but the color changes daily, so I have hope!

The flower of Kniphofia Uvaria really does look a bit like a torch, especially when the top gains red color, the middle retains some orange, and the bottom is brilliant yellow. I’ve never especially loved these plants, but for the foreseeable future, I’ll learn to live with the dozens in residence here on the farm.

*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

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