Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’

11 Oct

Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Alba' flower (17/09/2011, London)

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ flower (17/09/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist 

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 1m

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

Family: Polygonaceae

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ is a semi-evergreen herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its foliage is dark green in colour,  3-4 inches long and form a think mound like habit. The leaves of this plant clasp the stems which are quite long, upright and bronze in colour. The flowers are white in colour and are quite slender in appearance. They are borne on the dark stems and appear in the from of long thin spikes of tiny clustered, fluffy round flowers in profusion.

The species Persicaria amplexicaulis, commonly known as Mountain Fleece, is native to the Himalayas. This plant likes pond areas and would be suitable for growth in a boggy habitat. This plant will spread steadily but is not invasive. Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ is synonymous with Bistorta amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ and Polygonum amplexicaule ‘Alba’.

The etymology of the binomial name Persicaria is derived from the Latin persicarus ‘peach tree’ in reference to the likeness to the leaves of a peach tree. Amplexicaulis is derived from the Latin amplecti meaning ‘surround, encircle or embrace’ in reference to the way the leaves clasp the stem.

Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Alba' (17/09/2011, London)

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ (17/09/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ useful as an effective ground cover plant. It is also suitable for planting in damp areas, near lakes or ponds.

Ecologically, Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ is attractive to bees and other insects.

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ prefers soils which are moist. It can tolerate heavy clay soils. It will tolerated all soil pH levels.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given their prestigious Award of Garden to the ‘Firetail’ variety of this plant in 1993.

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’ requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring or autumn.

Davis Landscape Architecture


One Response to “Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’”

  1. John Lord 12/10/2011 at 13:23 #

    I find the white form of P. amplexicaulis a bit insipid on its own, not having the same richness as the red forms, but great when planted in groups. It gives a similar effect to the white veronicastrum ,which tends to fall over on my heavy clay.It should be used more in general lanscaping.

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