Common name: Slender Poker; Zulu names: icacane, inxonya, umathunga
Kniphofia laxiflora is an evergreen plant which flowers in late summer and autumn in the moist grasslands of KZN and Lesotho, often found amongst rocks. 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.
Along the roadsides in damp areas, Kniphofia caulescens and Kniphofia linearifolia are also flowering at the moment. Both have more compact inflorescences and are impossible to confuse with the tall slender spike of flowers of laxiflora.
Kniphofia laxiflora 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.