Persicaria affinis

27 Aug

Persicaria affinis (28/07/2011, Walworth, London)

Persicaria affinis (28/07/2011, Walworth, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Well drained

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Eventual Height: 30cm

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Polygonaceae

Persicaria affinis is an evergreen perennial with a mat-forming habit. Its foliage is narrowly elliptic and dark green in colour, turning bronze in winter. In late summer to autumn it bears dense spikes of small, funnel shaped, rose red flowers which are up to 10cm above the foliage.

Persicaria affinis Flower (28/07/2011, Walworth, London)

Persicaria affinis Flower (28/07/2011, Walworth, London)

Persicaria affinis, commonly known as Himalayan Knotweed or Fleece Flower, is native to parts of Asia including china and the Himalayas. Persicaria affinis is synonymous with Polygonum affine and Bistorta affinis.

The etymology of the binomial name Persicaria was a medieval name referring to the likeness of the leaves to a peach tree, Prunus persica. Affinis is derived from the Latin for ‘related to’.

Persicaria affinis may be useful to the landscape architect en mass as an effective low growing ground cover .It is suitable for planting on slopes or banks where low maintenance is required.

Ecologically,  Persicaria affinis will attract many species of pollinating insects such as honey bees and butterflies.

Persicaria affinis Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Persicaria affinis Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society gave the cultivars Persicaria affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’, ‘Donald Lowndes’ and ‘Superba’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Persicaria affinis will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy at acid, neutral or alkaline pH levels, in loam, clay, chalk or sand based soils, preferring a west, east or south facing exposed or sheltered aspect.

Persicaria affinis requires little to no maintenance. The flowers may dead headed to prolong the flowering period. Large clumps may be propagated by division in spring or autumn.

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