'Firetail' Knotweed (Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’)

What plant is popular in Europe and was the 2010 Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Plant of Merit?   

The 3' - 4 ft tall 'Firetail' Knotweed or Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’


Beloved by James Van Sweden and Piet Oudolf, this non-invasive Himalayan perennial adds a “nice red spark” to the late summer garden (from July through frost).

It forms a bushy mound of foliage topped by brightly colored “tails” of tiny crimson flowers. A good plant for moist areas along streams or ponds, it prefers partial sun to full sun conditions. It has no serious disease or insect problems.  Hardiness USDA zones 5 to 9

It looks great in a mass planting and wonderful as a background for asters, mums, short grasses,  and geranium 'Rozanne'.

avalon perennials

Contrasts well with purple salvia, echinops, helianthus, nepeta or perovskia. Underplant it with early-spring-blooming bulbs for color in the spring .


Persicaria 'Pink Elephant' from Chris Ghyselen


There area many varieties of Persicaria amplexicaulis available from white, pink to dark red.

 For great photos of this beautiful and useful go to the website of Persicaria breeder Chris Ghyselen from Belgium.

He lists over 30 cultivars of P. amplexicaulis!  (Some varieties flop over and are best supported or surrounded by dense neighbors.)

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