This bold planting display features 2,000 specimens of Kniphofia – better known as red-hot pokers – nestled amongst Chinese windmill palms (Trachycarpus fortunei), and golden, purple and red grasses. 

Kniphofia are exotic, bold and bee-friendly perennial flowers which come in a variety of colours, from flame red to pale yellow and green, and can reach well over a metre tall. This bed includes around 100 different cultivars, and over 20 species.

Plants to look out for include the vibrant orange Kniphofia ‘Nobilis’, and the metre-tall, bronze-yellow Kniphofia ‘Dingaan’, named after a Zulu king. Kniphofia ‘Kichocheo’ is one of our favourites – soft apricot in colour, the name means 'poker' in Swahili.

The precipitous slope also showcases flowing grasses and vibrant perennials from the southern hemisphere, particularly South Africa, in the ‘new naturalism’ style. Vivid orange Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) add a further splash of colour to the deliciously vibrant area.

National Plant Collection

Plant Heritage has awarded National Plant Collection status to our collections of Kniphofia cultivars (plant varieties created through breeding) and Kniphofia species (those found in the wild). Many of the red-hot pokers are rare or specialist, and have been bought with help from the Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust.

Plant Heritage’s National Plant Collection scheme aims to document, develop and preserve a comprehensive collection of one group of plants in trust for the future. To help fulfil the criteria of becoming a National Collection, Eden's horticulture team have been monitoring and measuring the different plants as they flower to ensure correct classification.

We’ve called the planting initiative Bright Sparks because of the forms and colours of the planting as well as the involvement of our own ‘bright sparks’ – our young horticulture apprentices.

Did you know?

When Kniphofia were first discovered, they were thought to be part of the Aloe family!