'Firetail' Knotweed - Pow!

courtesy GAPPHOTOS


Want to know what is beloved by James Van Sweden and Piet Oudolf and was a 2010 Royal Horticultural Society Plant of Merit? Hardiness USDA zones 5 to 9.

The 'Firetail' Knotweed or Persicaria amplexicaulis speciosa ‘Firetail’ - It is 3' - 4 ft tall.

photo by Chris Ghyselen


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. Underplant it with early-spring-blooming bulbs for color in the spring .

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

photo courtesy of Big Dipper Farm

It contrasts well with purple salvia, echinops, helianthus, nepeta or perovskia. Also effective in moist areas along streams or ponds.



Persicaria amplexicaulis prefers moist soils and partial sun to full sun conditions. It has no serious disease or insect problems.

Persicaria Pink Elephant from Chris Ghyselen

There area many varieities 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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