Kniphofia uvaria, Hook. (Aloe uvaria, Linn. Aletris uvaria, Linn. Tritoma uvaria, Ker-Gawl. Veltheimia uvaria, Willd. K. alooides, Moench). Torch-lily. Common Poker Plant. Poker Plant. Flame-flower. Figs. 2039, 2040. Lvs. slightly glaucous, ensiform-acuminate, 2-3 ft.long and 1 in. or less broad, scabrous on the margin, acutely keeled, with 30-40 close vertical veins: raceme dense, often 6 in. long, 2 ½ -3 in. thick, on a peduncle as long as the lvs.; upper fls. bright red, lower ones yellow; perianth cylindrical, to 1 ½ in. long; segms. ovate and obtuse; stamens in the lower
fls. barely exserted. General Cape region. F.S. 13:1393. B.M. 758; 4816.—The following varieties with Latin names are in the trade and usually advertised as apparent species under Kniphofia or Tritoma. They may be all more or less distinct horticulturally. var. carnosa, in Gn. 19:548, with the fls. opening from the top instead of the bottom, and with red filaments and yellow anthers. Leichtlin intro. it about 1881 and said it grew 1 ½ -2 ft. high, the apricot-red of the fls. toned down by a glaucous bloom. (Cf. No. 17.) var. floribunda is early- flowering. var. glauca is apparently a trade name. var. glaucescens is figured in Gn. 36:458 with a spike 9 in. long, of "vermilion-scarlet fls. changing to a more orange color; one of the freest bloomers. Intro. 1859." Foliage somewhat glaucous. var. grandiflora, one of the earliest improvements on the type: 2-3 ft. high. var. grandis. Large-fld.; fls. red and yellow, 5 ft. The plant in the trade K. pfitzeri probably belongs here; see also suppl. list, p. 1755. var. nobilis is said by Carriere, R.H. 1885:252, to have shorter and stricter lvs. than var. saundersii, the spikes more ovoid, the fls. uniformly red and less deflexed. Lvs. not glaucous. Gn. 55, p. 167. var. saundersii, in R.H. 1882:504, is shown with "red-orange fls. in an elliptical spike and said to grow 6 ft. and more high. It grows 4-6 ft. high in rich soil, the peduncles less rigid than in K. uvaria (blooming late) with cylindrical spikes 18-24 in. long and fls. often ½ in. across. Gn. 71, p. 492. See var. maxima, below.
Baker's treatment of the botanical varieties (under K. alooides) is as follows (Fl. Capensis, VI, p. 283):
var. maxima (Tritoma grandiflora, Hort. T. saundersii, Carr.). More robust: lvs. 4-5 ft. long, 1 in. wide: raceme and fls. longer; stamens more decidedly exserted. B.M. 6553 (fls. yellow, more or less tinged red). R.H. 1882:504 (colored like the type).
var. nobilis (Triloma nobilis, Guill.). Still more robust: scape including raceme sometimes 6-7 ft. long; fls. 1 ½ in. long. R.H. 1885:252.
var. serotina, Hort. A late-flowering form with slender perianth 1 ¼ in. long and distinctly exserted stamens. Baker also mentions var. carnosa, glaucescens and refulgens without discrimination. Other varieties with Latin names arc mentioned in Gn. 36:458. K. praecox, Baker, is probably not in cult.: fls. sometimes in summer and sometimes in autumn.
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