Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Kniphofia ‘Atlanta’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Kniphofia 'Atlanta' flower (24/06/2011, London)

Kniphofia 'Atlanta' flower (24/06/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist well drained soil

Flowering period: Summer

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 45cm

Hardiness: USDA Zone 6a-9b

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Kniphofia ‘Atlanta’ is an evergreen perennial with an upright, clump forming habit. Its foliage is composed of grass like channelled leaves. In summer stout, upright stems bear dense, terminal, monoecious racemes formed from tubular bright orange and red flowers.

The Kniphofia genus is native to South Africa and is commonly known as the Red Hot Poker. The ‘Atlanta’ cultivar was originally taken from a Surrey garden and then planted on the grounds of the Hotel Atlanta in Tintagel, Cornwall, where it was spotted by a local nurseryman and brought into commercial cultivation.

Kniphofia was named for Professor Johann Hieronymus Kniphof, an 18th century botanist.

Kniphofia 'Atlanta' (24/06/2011, London)

Kniphofia 'Atlanta' (24/06/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find this plant useful for its strong architectural habit, its evergreen form and distinctive flowering heads.It is also tolerant of the coastal environment.

This plant will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy in neutral, acid or alkaline pH levels, in loam, clay or sand based soils facing any sheltered aspect. It will also tolerate salty coastal soils.

Ecologically this plant will attract pollinating insects such as butterflies and honey bees and although it is not native to this continent it has been known to attract large numbers of these pollinating insects.

Maintenance: No maintenance required. May be cut back after flowering to maintain a tidy appearance. The clumps may be divided in spring.

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