Red Hot Poker – Identification

Q: My Mother calls the flower I’m sending you “Bread and Butter”. She could not remember the actual name so I researched it on the Internet and found that gladiolus are referred to as ‘Bread and Butter’.

My sister took a look at it and stated that is not what it is. I have three big ones but I don’t know what they are.

A: I hate to argue with your Mama but the plant’s common name is Red Hot Poker, Kniphofia uvaria. You can understand from the flower color how it gets its name.

Red Hot Poker is a tough plant. It does well in dry spots in full sun but it does better if it gets good soil and some water in summer. Otherwise the individual flowers dry up so fast the complete flower spike looks very ratty.

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