Persicaria, Fleeceflower, Knotweed, Tovara = formerly Polygonum

In "Perennials for Every Purpose" (c 2000) Larry Hodgson tells readers that Persicaria used to be lumped in with all fleeceflowers, into the genus Polygonum. The family was broken up into Polygonum and Fallopia. Polygonum cuspidatum is now Fallopia japonica sold as an ornamental but potentially invasive.

Most gardening books leave it out all together. What stimulated my interest is that I have one that I picked up at a free plant exchange and hear very little about it. Last night I was browsing the
Roots and Rhizomes Catalog ("for the discriminating gardener") and there it was.

R & R says Persicaria is also called Tovara and Polygonum.

Their varieties and descriptions are -
Persicaria alata: creeping, trailing and can be invasive so plant in pots.

Persicaria amplexicaulis Firetail: bright red flowers above heart shaped green leaves. Fine Gardening has a piece about it here.

Roots & Rhizomes Persicaria Painters Palette
Persicaria filiformis Painters Palette: Leaves are green with zones of mahogany, splashes of ivory.

This is the one a garden club member plunked on the freebie table with the comment, "I just want that thing out of my garden."

I love my Painters Palette Persicaria! I've moved it several times and yet it thrives. It has other names, too. Persicaria filiformis, Tovara virginiana, Polygonum virginanum, Painter's Palette fleeceflower.

Hodgson recommends Fleeceflowers/Knotweeds for containers, ground cover, rock garden, woodland garden, wet areas, etc.

Cold hardiness zones 3 to 9. No pests or diseases.

He also recommends Darjeeling Red, Superba, Dimity, Persicaria bisorta snakeweed (dnese clumps red leaves in fall.

Plant with hostas since they have similar light and moisture needs. In Minnesota Persicaria virginiana is called Jumpseed. Photos and info at the link.

Digging Dog nursery has several Persicarias including: Dimity, Persicaria amplexicaulis Alba, Atrosanguinea, Golden Arrow, Inverleith, Orange field, Rosea, Summer Dance, Taurus and Superba.

Seeds are available (and on sale) from B and T World Seeds of Persicaria affinis, Persicaria bistorta, Persicaria capitata, Persicaria emodi, Persicaria virginiana, Persicaria virginiana Painters Pallette, Persicaria viscosa, Persicaria vivipara, Persicaria weyrichii and Polygonum persicaria.


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