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Kniphofia linearifolia


Water Needs

moderate; high

Kniphofia linearifolia
Perennial; Bulb; Water plant
Common Marsh poker – moe-ras-vuurpyl – Icacane, Umathunga (Z)

50 – 70 cm. Flowers up to 1.5 m


Light Conditions





orange-red and yellow December to May; summer autumn

Garden Situation

damp soils; sun; wildlife sunbirds birds sugarbirds insects;


grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal western cape; water;


Subtropical East Coast; Highveld; Karoo; thicket; Western Cape; subtec; wc

Rain Season

summer; winter

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This evergreen perennial is a strong grower, producing a thick clump of leaves, greenish/yellow in colour, with a prominent midrib. Large flower heads are borne on the tips of sturdy stems; initially pink-red to green, turning orange-red or yellow as they open from midsummer to autumn. It occurs naturally in dense clumps so plant a fair number of them together for maximum effect – plants given as close to their natural habitat will thrive. Very hardy, it survives light frosts and is happy in normal garden conditions. This tall poker does best in continually damp soils in full sun, but does well in average garden soils in sunny beds or areas receiving afternoon shade. Initially pinkish red to green flower buds are followed by orange-red and yellow flowers in summer and autumn. Provincial distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Western Cape. The tall spires of all pokers work beautifully in any garden style: try them with the tall stems and purple flowers of Polygala virgata, or behind the smaller Aristea species with their blue star-like flowers where they will happily combine in similar moist soils. In the water garden, plant in clumps with Juncus effuses Arum lilies, Cyperus textilis and the yellow flowering Moraea huttonii. The Kniphofia family are excellent for attracting sunbirds and other species to feed or nest.

Kniphofia linearifolia
Kniphofia linearifolia
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