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The genus Kniphofia was named in honour of Johannes Hieronymus Kniphof, 1704-1763, who was a professor of medicine at Erfurt University in Germany. Kniphofia belongs to the family Asphodelaceae which comprises 17 genera (10 of which occur in South Africa) and about 750 species. About 70 species of Kniphofia occur in Africa and 47 of these are found in the eastern areas of South Africa.The genus Kniphofia is very closely related to the genus Aloe. As a result, the first Kniphofia to be described, namely K. uvaria, was mistakenly thought to be an Aloe and was thus initially named Aloe uvaria.