Kniphofia, a showy African plant sometimes called torch lily, has flamboyant spikes of graduated scarlet, red-orange, golden or yellow flowers. they rise above thick roots and a tangled mount of tough, grassy leaves that add interesting texture. Kniphofia will survive extreme heat and considerable drought, but not frost. Plant it in Zone 5 or further south, in full sun or part shade, where it will flourish even in poor soil.
Cultivars of kniphofia vary in flower color, bloom time and height, but all are knockouts. 'Prince Igor' is a 6-foot tall stunner that shows off deep orange-red blossoms in autumn; mellow-yellow 'Bees' Sunset' blooms in early to late summer but hits only 3 feet; the 4-foot tall 'Percy's Pride' has greenish-yellow flowers that appear almost fluorescent in the autumn light; 'Little Maid' grows to only 24 inches but displays pretty pale yellow flowers in late summer.