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Kniphofia triangularis

22 Nov

Kniphofia triangularis ssp.triangularis Flower (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Kniphofia triangularis ssp.triangularis Flower (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 80cm

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Subfamily: Asphodeloideae

Kniphofia triangularis is an evergreen, clump forming perennial. Its mid green leaves are strap shaped, channeled and arching. Its red/ orange flowers are tubular  and borne in dense terminal racemes at the ends of erect stems. Its roots are rhizomes which may aid its spread.

Kniphofia triangularis, commonly known as the Dwarf Red Hot Poker, is native to South Africa. In its native habitat it grows in mountain grasslands. In south east Australia Kniphofia has become naturalised and regarded as an environmental weed.

The etymological root of the binomial name Kniphofia was named for Professor Johann Hieronymus Kniphof, an 18th century botanist. Triangularis is derived from the Latin tria meaning ‘three’ and angularis meaning ‘having angles’, in reference to the cross sectional shape of  its leaf.

The landscape architect may find Kniphofia triangularis useful as an evergreen perennial with an architectural habits. It is tolerant of a maritime climate. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Kniphofia triangularis ssp.triangularis (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Kniphofia triangularis ssp.triangularis (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Kniphofia triangularis flowers are attractive to pollinating insects and nectar loving birds.

Kniphofia triangularis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Kniphofia triangularis requires little maintenance. Plants may be cut back after flowering to maintain a tidy appearance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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