Red Hot Poker

Scientific Name: Kniphofia uvaria

Fact Box:

  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Asphodelaceae
  • Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
  • Genus: Kniphofia
  • Species: K. uvaria


Like the soap aloe, red hot pokers have tubular flowers that stand tall above their leafy bases. On the other hand, their crowns are much more showy, displaying bright red tops with an underlining layer of yellow. Red hot pokers grow in clumps and are often called “torch lilies” due to the color of their flowers and their lily-like leaves.


We found these flowers next to the school and marveled at their flaming crowns. Despite their beauty, these South African natives are becoming somewhat invasive in many places, and are even being considered “weeds.”