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I'm Principal Scientist for Botany at the RHS and work on the correct naming of plants and manage the RHS Herbarium. I am part of an expedition to South Africa this January to study Kniphofia and their natural hybrids.

A medley of pokers

Posted by Chris Whitehouse on 18 Feb 2012 at 04:26 PM

Safely back home, it is now time to assess the expedition and write up the reports.  A first analysis of the results makes very pleasing reading.  Of the 52 taxa recorded for the Flora of Southern Africa (48 species and 4 subspecies or varieties) I managed to see 23 in flower and another 8 in the wild but not flowering.  Considering that a large number of those that I missed were either never on my route or not flowering at the time I visited, I probably saw about 90% of the ones that I could have seen.  My biggest regret is not finding K. brachystachya, as I was thwarted in the two places that I was likely to have seen it: Bushman's Nek and Highmoor. But I had many finds that I had not been hopeful of seeing at all such as K. evansii and K. splendida.

So here is a collection of all the ones I saw in flower.  I hope it gives a taste for the variety of the species present in the wild. (Click on a photo to link through to the day where I spotted the species if you want to read more about where it was found.)

For completeness, the remaining non-flowering species that I saw were: K. fluviatilis, K. multiflora, K. northiae, K. pauciflora, K. praecox, K. rigidifolia, K. splendida, and K. triangularis subsp. obtusiloba.


Botany said:

This page is to act as a summary of my expedition to find Kniphofia , red hot pokers, with links through

on 24 Feb 2012 at 03:29 PM