Torch lily might bloom for autumn.

Technically, it should bloom during spring and summer. Torch lily, Kniphofia uvaria, does not seem to know that though. Some bloom for late summer. Most are presently in bloom. Old fashioned sorts that survive without irrigation may bloom through winter or whenever they want. Modern cultivars are likely more predictable and punctual with their schedule. 

Torch lily, or red hot poker, blooms with densely conical floral spikes of many narrow and tubular flowers. Bare stalks boldly support bloom as high as five feet. The grassy foliage below forms dense mounds that should not get much higher than three feet. Established plants can survive without watering, but appreciate it through the arid warmth of summer. 

Floral buds are generally orange as they develop, and then fade to yellow as they bloom and age. Since floral spikes bloom upwards from the bottom, they are yellow at the base, and orange at the tip, like candy corn. Some cultivars are more reddish orange at the tip, or creamy white at the base. Others are rather uniformly orange, yellow or creamy white.


4 thoughts on “Torch Lily

    1. There is no need to convert if you dislike them. To me, the foliage looks rather weedy. I like them primarily because they are so resilient, and do not need irrigation in some situations.


    1. That was all I knew until the 1990s. The other cultivars are either rather modern, or were rare years ago. They still are uncommon, perhaps because the traditional colors are still the best.


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