Kniphofias have been catching our attention recently. The Wisley trial that was completed last year highlighted many fine plants, there were ten newcomers listed in the 2011 RHS Plant Finder and a number of new varieties from the USA should be with us next year.
But one vividly coloured newcomer, which really does justify the old common name of red hot poker, is ‘Elvira’. As the picture reveals, its colouring is extraordinarily bright and fiery.
Tall and upright in growth, the slender rich green foliage makes a mound about 70cm/28in high, with the upright spikes reaching to about 1m/39in. Flowering continuously from July to September, each spike carries between 70 and 100 individual flowers, each lasting last for about ten days, so in all each spike lasts about 18 days. And one important point, the dying flowers drop off leaving a clean looking spike, they don’t hang on looking brown and grubby.
Now, the colour… Vivid hot orange, with the new flowers slightly richer and redder in colouring and the older flowers not fading too much before dropping off. So the result is a bright and harmonious mass of colour with nothing to detract from the display.
Like all kniphofias, ‘Elvira’ enjoys a well-drained soil in full sun and dislikes wet soil in the winter.
You can buy Kniphofia ‘Elvira’ from Hayloft Plants.