Best of the bunch
KNIPHOFIA (Red Hot Poker):
Kniphofias add a touch of the exotic to the late summer border, their bright warm orange and yellow ‘torch’ flowers standing on top of sturdy, upright stems and providing a focal point as long as they are not swamped by taller evergreen foliage.
But red hot pokers are not always red hot. There are yellow varieties such as ‘Brimstone’ which contrast well against purple asters, while more compact, front-of-border varieties include ‘Little Maid’, which has cream pokers.
For more classic types, which are half yellow and half orange or red, check out K. rooperi, which grows to 1.5m (5ft) or K. uvaria ‘Nobilis’, which is huge, late-flowering and evergreen, with traditional red and yellow torches. In spring, cut out dead flower spikes and pull out old leaves to keep the plants tidy, and divide them if they have become overcrowded.