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Persicaria

(formally called Polygonum)

Common Names: Bistort, Fleece Flower.

Moisture loving plants with creeping stems and bottle brush flowers throughout the summer, normally in shades of pink and red. There varieties for the rock garden, border and even amphibious ones for the pond.

Whilst they prefer moist soil most will tolerate dry conditions but won't spread so much. Dead head spent blooms by pulling off the flowering stem at its base. This will ensure further flowers throughout the summer.

Propagate by division. Dig up and replant healthy sections every 2 or 3 years to keep in check and avoid the centres of clumps dying out.

Read more about propagation of these plants in our Garden Diary for October 2009 and also November 2009

Persicaria flowers are very attractive to bees and hoverflies.

Members of the Polygonaceae family

Persicaria affinis Superba

Low creeping stems to 15cm. Pale pink flowers maturing to deep rose in spikes up to 25cm high. Leaves become tinted red in autumn. Flowers May through to September. The variety "Dimity" bred by Alan Bloom is said by the RHS to be identical to this one.

Common Name: Himalayan Fleece Flower

RHS Award of Garden Merit.

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Persicaria amplexicaulis Atrosanguinea

Massed flower spikes in a soft red that tone well with other plants. Forms a spreading clump up to 3ft tall in flower. Flowering from July to October.

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Perfect partners with Lythrum Dropmore Purple for a vibrant planting composition in August.

Persicaria amplexicaulis Blackfield

New variety with slender flowers in deep, almost black red. A real smoldering beauty in our hot bed.

2ft 6in - 3ft tall.

Price 6.00 (9cm pot)

 

The eagle-eyed will spot the Shield Bug lurking in the picture - see our garden diary for October 2010 for more on this harmless bug.

Persicaria amplexicaulis Firedance

The nearest to fiery red of current varieties. About 3ft tall

 

Price 5.00 (9cm pot)

Persicaria amplexicaulis Rosea

Very pale pink flowers on 3ft - 4ft tall stems. Flower June to October. 

Price 5.00 (9cm pot)

Persicaria bistorta Superba

Large leaves to 25cm high. Pink bottle brush flowers on spikes 60-70cm high. Flowers in flushes between May and September if dead headed.

RHS Award of Garden Merit

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Perfect Partners: Persicaria bistorta Superba in our garden with Geranium phaeum Lily Lovell. 18 May 2009.

Persicaria microcephala Red Dragon

Burgundy and green leaves each with the typical Persicaria chevron mark - in pale green in this case. Small white flowers from August to September. The leaves are more clearly patterned when grown in shade but are more fiery red in when grown in full sun - take your pick.

2ft 6in - 3ft tall. A clumper.

Price 5.00 (9cm pot)

Persicaria microcephala Purple Fantasy

Exotic looking but perfectly hardy with us. The leaves keep their best colour and patterning in light shade.  Up to 2ft tall but we keep it short by pinching out the tips regularly.  The small clusters of pink-white flowers are unremarkable but don't spoil the show!

A clump former.

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