Common name: Great White Fleece Flower; Giant Fleece Flower
From a fist-size division Persicaria polymorpha should give you a blooming plant in the first season. The next spring it will burst out of the ground and be in bloom with the iris in late May. It will continue to pump out blooms into August, and if you don't mind tan-coloured flowers, you can consider it to be in bloom until September.
Try using Persicaria as a specimen plant in a large lawn and you will have people stopping to to ask the name of the beautiful plant.
Ideal conditions: best in moist fertile soil; full or half day sun; with some protection from high wind; very drought tolerant once established
Ideas and companions:
- this highly ornamental plant can be used at the front door of a residence, where it can be viewed both from the inside and the outside.
- almost any of the true grasses will complement Persicaria, particularly the Miscanthus
Flowers: 150-200cm (5-7'); fleecy creamy white, profuse blooms; late May or early June through September
Coldest zone: 3 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)
Season of interest: while blooming, fall colour and winter
When to divide: spring; include a piece of the stem when taking divisions
Notes: even with its thick roots (like branching carrots), polymorpha is not invasive. In wet climates, it may flop the first few seasons, but in time will be a sturdy and impressive plant measuring approximately 150 cm x 150 cm (5' x 5').
Muriel's notes: Jim gave me one in 2003. The first year it was a nice plant but the second year it was sensational! This plant started blooming when the irises were still in bloom and went on almost until frost. My garden was on the garden tour the next year and it was the plants most often asked about. It has no problem remained upright in my garden.
Another thing worth mentioning is that in 2004 it was very slow to poke its head out of the soil in the spring. I thought it had died. However, once it started to grow one had to get out of the way!
I see that in 2005 it is showing signs of life as early as any other plant.