Lola Red Hot Poker
Item #: 4345
Zones: 6a to 10b, guessing
Height: 84" tall
Thanks to NC plantsman Jim Massey for sharing this killer poker that he got from "Lola." Kniphofia 'Lola' is, as we say in the South, a big honker. In other words, it's big, it's bodacious, it's the Bo Derek of the red hot pokers. Our amazing clumps are 5' tall x 5' wide with 6-7' spikes of orange flowers in midsummer...a hub for hummingbirds. Kniphofia 'Lola' is not for the small garden, small people who are easily intimidated, or those who have been diagnosed with a heart condition. If you want to make a loud statement and you have plenty of room, invite "Lola" into your garden!
Kniphofia is evergreen in Zone 7b. Perhaps it is evergreen throughout Zone 7. Despite this, it is advised that last year's foliage be removed (stripped off) in late winter as it is putting up new growth. Last years foliage will die away over the current year anyway if it is not removed. Removing spent flower stalks will improve the appearance of the plant. That is all the maintenance that it requires. Large clumps can be divided if additional plants are desired. This can be done most times of the year.
Red hot pokers are sun lovers, the more sun the better. Average soil moisture, neither soggy or bone dry suits 'Lola' best. Though it might be worth mentioning that there are 70-some wild species and a few occur in wet sites.
Kniphofia 'Lola' and red hot poker plants in general are of great garden impact with their strongly vertical spikes of colorful flowers, 'Lola' especially so with its great height (about 6') and brilliant orange flowers. Verticals add a great deal of interest to a planting, like vegetable-exclamation points, providing a strong contrast to the more shapeless mounds of many herbaceous perennials.
The tubular flowers are nectared by hummingbirds.
The origin of the Kniphofia known as 'Lola': Jimmy Massey sited this large specimen in a yard in the Morganton, NC area. A conversation with the homeowner, Lola, revealed that she was 80 years old and had always lived in the house and the kniphofia had always been in that yard. The longevity was additionally significant in that this part of NC was either Zone 6 or a very cold end of Zone 7 decades ago when Jimmy "discovered" this plant.
Jimmy Massey had a career as a botanist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC and a side business, Holly Hill Daylily Nursery, raising and selling daylilies (Hemerocallis), crinums and the Kniphofia 'Lola'. He has since retired from both occupations.
Container Role: Thrillers
Garden Themes: Cottage Garden Plants
Other: Butterfly Attracting Plants , Cut Flower Plants , Drought Tolerant Plants , Giant Plants , Hummingbird Plants , Pollinator Plants , Plants that Attract Birds , Rabbit Resistant Plants , Rain Garden Plants , Salt Tolerant Seaside Plants