Cornish gardeners given detective task

Gardeners in Cornwall have been asked to help in a quest to find an original specimen of Kniphofia.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announced botanists at its Herbarium have been searching for the Atlanta version of the "red hot poker" plant.

It is known as such due to its coloured stamens, which protrude beyond the mouth of the flower.

The species is an early flowering variety – blooming from late April to May, according to facility keeper Dr Christopher Whitehouse.

He is appealing to Cornish gardeners who may have taken cuttings or seeds from the grounds of the Atlanta Hotel in Tintagel to get in touch.

The species was first identified at the site by Neil Treseder – of Treseders Nursery in Truro – in 1962.

It is believed the hotel sourced it from a surrey garden a decade before but experts are now struggling to find an original.

"Although the Atlanta Hotel has been redeveloped and Treseders closed down many years ago, to resolve this conundrum were looking for other plants that may have originated from the Atlanta Hotel," explained Dr Whitehouse.

The RHS recently announced it is to offer schools grants of up to £500 to help with garden projects.