This weeks plant of the week, is one of the last flowering red hot pokers and for me it is one of the best as well, I love the shape and the colour of this special red hot poker that really light up the border like a torch! The 3-4ft flower spikes are borne over the evergreen foliage from about now up until the first hard frosts hit, they just add a delightful torch of light into our borders, just in time to darken up our sometimes dull autumn days. Even when not in flower, the leaves, add a great architectural element into any garden.
It is a South African plant that loves to live in the damp valleys and that’s one thing to remember when looking after it. Kniphofia rooperi loves to grow into a dampish humus rich soil, in a sunny area but it will grow in drier soil as long as it is well mulched and looked after. It’s very easy to propagate as well, either from seed sown and left over winter in a cold frame, from dividing up the plant in the spring, using a carefully aimed spade to divide up the clump or indeed from cutting the new growth in the spring and potting on into compost. It was named after the great German botanist Johann Hieronymus Kniphof. He wrote one of the greatest books of the 1700, Botanica in originali.