Kniphofia uvaria, in Afrikaans commonly known as rooisoldate (red soldiers), is a variable, rhizomatous perennial that sometimes forms small clumps or tussocks and reaches heights from 50 cm to 1,2 m.
The long, narrow leaves grow from ground level. They are soft, fibrous and channelled or V-shaped in cross-section. Leaf dimensions are about 1 m long and less than 2 cm wide.
The stem-tip inflorescence is a many-flowered, dense raceme, oblong to globular in shape. The long, nearly cylindrical perianths often change colour from red to yellow when they open. The open flower has short triangular petal lobes.
Kniphofia flowers often exsert their anthers early and later retract them into the perianths. In picture the retraction does not seem to have taken place in the old flowers.
The species distribution is widespread in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, spilling over slightly into the south of the Northern Cape.
The plants grow in moist fynbos and renosterveld areas like wetlands, seeps and close to rivers. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Manning, 2007; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org).