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Bistorta amplexicaulis 'Firetail'

Bistorta amplexicaulis  'Firetail'

Synonym(s) Persicaria amplexicaulis, Polygonum amplexicaule
Common name fleeceflower
Family polygonaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z5-9)
Flowers purple (late summer-fall)
Size 3'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil (not too dry)

Slow to get started in spring, Firetail fleeceflower is still a small plant in June, but already makes a statement with its red-tinged leaves. Our plant this summer had two kinds of insect visitors - the unwanted kind were Japanese beetles, which seemed to rather like its taste; the wanted kind was a katydid nymph, who considered the plant home in its last stage before adulthood, and even stuck around for days after its final molt (see my hoppers page for portraits). Then by mid-August, the flowers started, and they just kept on coming. Definitely a late-season favorite.

Bistorta amplexicaulis  'Firetail'
A bright sight in the early morning sunlight, mid-August
Still going strong in mid-October
Bistorta amplexicaulis  'Firetail'
Reddish clump in early summer

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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