(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.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Persicaria amplexicaulis Alba

Pure white variety of this great border plant. Appreciates moist soils but does pretty well in our very dry soil. All 2ft 9in - 3ft tall. Flower June to September.

The epithet amplexicaulis refers to the way the stems are clasped by the leaves and bracts.

The common name for Persicaria amplexicaulis is Mountain Fleece Flower. Don't ask me why.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

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.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

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 Inverleith

Dwarf variety that arose at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and was introduced by Alan Bloom. About 2ft tall.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Persicaria amplexicaulis Orangefield

Another new variety with slender flowers this time with a subtle salmon tone. Shorter than some of the others 2ft 6in - 3ft

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Persicaria amplexicaulis Rosea

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

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

See a perfect partnership between Rosea and Monarda Gewitterwolke in our Garden Diary for August 2012.

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

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

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

Persicaria campanulata

Tallish plants (around 3ft) with corrugated deep green leaves and sprays of tiny bell-shaped (hence the specific name) pink flowers in late summer and autumn. Stoloniferous - spreads by surface rooting stems - best to cut off and remove in autumn before they root too much if you don't want it to spread.

Read about this plant in our garden diary for October 2010.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

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.

1ft 6in - 2ft tall. A clumper.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Persicaria millitii

This lovely clump-former wowed us at a visit to an NGS garden last year and we just had to have it. Brilliant rose-pink flowers and narrow leaves.

1ft 6in - 2ft tall.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)