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Valentine.gr  

February 2011

Did you know that the name "red hot poker" was given to plant Kniphofia beacause of its  red, orange, yellow and cream flowers?

Kniphofia - Tritoma - Red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria)  

Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma (Kniphofia spp.)

Kniphofia (Tritoma, Red hot poker, Torch lily, Poker plant) is a genus of plants in the family Asphodelaceae that includes 70 or more species native to Africa  and 47 of these are found in the eastern areas of South Africa..Some species have been commercially used horticulturally into many parts of the world, such as North America, New Zealand and Europe as a garden plant and are commonly known for their bright, rocket-shaped flowers.  The genus Kniphofia is very closely related to the genus Aloe. As a result, the first Kniphofia to be d, namely K. uvaria, was mistakenly thought to be an Aloe and was thus initially named Aloe uvaria.

The genus Kniphofia was named in honour of Johannes Hieronymus Kniphof, 1704-1763, who was a professor of medicine at Erfurt University in Germany. 

Most species of Kniphofia are evergreen while a few are deciduous and sprout again in the early summer. They bear dense, erect spikes (elongated inflorescence with stalkless flowers) above the level of the leaves in either winter or summer depending on the species. The small, tubular flowers are produced in shades of red, orange, yellow and cream. This gives names such as "torch" and "red hot poker" to many of them. (K. uvaria)

Kniphofia form large clumps of arching leaves which are long, narrow and tapering. The leaves are non-succulent, unlike the leaves of aloes. This distinguishes them from a plant such as Aloe cooperi. The leaf surface is glabrous (smooth) in all but one species, namely, K. hirsuta.

The underground part of the plant consists of a thick rhizome and fibrous, fleshy roots. In some Kniphofia species the rhizome divides forming groups of stems, while in others the stems are more or less solitary. The vast majority of Kniphofia species do not produce an aerial stem, but exceptions do occur as is the case with old specimens of K. caulescens and K. northiae which can reach a height of 30 cm.

The flowers produce copious nectar while blooming and may attract sap-suckers. Kniphofia are frequented by nectar-feeding birds such as sunbirds and sugarbirds. They are also visited by certain insects. The flowers of some species of Kniphofia are reportedly used as a minor food and apparently taste like honey. K. parviflora is reported to have been made into a traditional snake repellent. K. rooperii and K. laxiflora are used traditionally as a medicine. An infusion of the roots is used to relieve or treat the symptoms of certain chest disorders. The rhizomes of Kniphofia foliosa are used in Ethiopia for the treatment of abdominal cramps. The plant is also used to eradicate endoparasites in cattle. The rhizome is said to be edible

Kniphofia spp. occur naturally in all the nine provinces of South Africa. Kwazulu-Natal possesses the highest number of Kniphofia species, compared to the other provinces with ± 40 to 50 species. Kniphofia also occurs in Lesotho, Swaziland and northward towards Sudan. The species diversity, however, decreases as one moves north.Kniphofia foliosa is endemic to Ethiopia.  Three species occur naturally outside continental Africa. Two of these species occur in Madagascar and one in Yemen. Most Kniphofia species are found growing near rivers or in places where conditions will become damp or marshy for part of the year. A small number of species prefer dry conditions with good drainage.


Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kniphofia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kniphofia_uvaria
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantklm/kniphofias.htm
http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Kniphofia%20foliosa_En.htm

 

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Hooker’s lips - Psychotria elata
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Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
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Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
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Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
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Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
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Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
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Honey Flower - Melianthus major
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Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
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Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
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Reseda - Mignonette
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Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
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Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
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Bat Flower - Tacca
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Sweet Box - Sarcococca
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Rue - Ruta graveolens
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Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
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Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
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Canna - Indian Shot
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Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
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Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
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Primula - Primerose
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Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
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Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
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Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
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Amorrhophallus titanum
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