Midlands Wildflower for March – Kniphofia laxiflora

Common name: Slender Poker; Zulu names: icacane, inxonya, umathunga

kniphofia laxiflora by Alex march

Kniphofia laxiflora is an evergreen plant which flowers in late summer and autumn in the moist grasslands of KZN and Lesotho.  The linear leaves appear from the rhizome at the base of the plant.

The drooping tubular red flowers are loosely arranged on the tall inflorescence.  The colour may vary from salmon to yellow to bright orange-red.  It is pollinated by sunbirds. In traditional medicine infusions made from pounded rhizomes are sipped hot to treat chest complaints.

In the garden, Kniphofia laxiflora prefers a sunny, well watered site and can withstand temperatures below freezing.

kniphofia laxiflora close res.

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2 thoughts on “Midlands Wildflower for March – Kniphofia laxiflora

  1. David

    Fame for the ‘laxiflora’ at last – well deserved as its colourful splash in the grasslands is eye-catching. From Pooley’s “Wldflowers”, I see that the word laxiflra actually means “loose flowers” as described in Flower of the Month. Thanks for the chance to learn something new

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