Kniphofia 'Border Ballet'
Tue, 27 Sep 2005 02:52:53 PDT
This is a classic case of plant naming in the horticultural trade, where a
seed raised 'product' is given a fancy name that makes it sound as if it is
a genuine cultivar. "Kniphofia hybrids mixed" would be the accurate
description for some of these offerings, but on the other hand some products
are really quite good, giving an acceptably similar set of seedlings. There
is one such in Kniphofia, known as "Flamenco" which I think derives from the
German seed company Benary: these are medium-sized pokers in a good range of
colours. It occurs to me that the name could have been adapted to 'Border
Ballet' to suit a marketing policy - there is a very great deal of fluidity
in these things, much to the horror of the RHS plant names committee and

The name K. uvaria in such cases should be disregarded - that's what is
expected/accepted in the seed trade: the wholesale growers are incredibly
consrvative and only want to grow 'names' they're totally familiar with.

I must point out that it is perfectly acceptable to call a seed-raised plant
a cultivar if it reproduces reliably to type, or at least to a defined set
of characters. Unfortunately these tend to slip in the production fields or
in gardens and there can be a lot of drift from the original if great care
is not taken.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 2:06 AM
Subject: [pbs] Kniphofia 'Border Ballet'

> Last year I bought just one plant of Kniphofia 'Border Ballet', >
> Doing a Google search, I see that this is a seed-grown selection of K.
> uvaria.  Does any one have more information on this "seed strain", such as
where was
> it was developed and by whom?

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