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Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's palette'

Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's palette'
Synonym(s) Tovara virginiana, Polygonum virginianum
Common name painter's palette
Family polygonaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z4-8)
Flowers tiny red beads (late summer)
Size 18-24"
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, grows best when not too dry
From seed give 4-6 weeks cold, then germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensearly November

Primarily a foliage plant, grown for its boldly variegated leaves. Although a member of the weedy polygonum family, this one is well worth growing. It seeds around a bit, but not enough to be a nuisance, and brightens up the scene in unexpected places. The tiny red flowers appear in late summer and are easy to miss (but quite interesting up close).

painter's palette

Persicaria virginiana 'Painter's palette'

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

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from trade#1. Baggy, 70F (4wks); cold (5 wks); 70F (no germination)
    Seed from trade#2. Baggy, cold (5 wks); 70F (65%G, 4-9d
  2. Seed from trade#2. Baggy, cold (3 wks); 70F (14%G, 7-14d).
  3. Seed from '02 garden. Baggy, cold (5 wks); 70F (10%G, 8d)
  4. >Seed from '03 garden. Baggy, cold (5 wks); 65F (28%G, 6-12d).

Cold treatment appears to be necessary, and germination is rather low - sow several times the number of plants required. Seedlings are very cold-sensitive - don't set out until after all danger of frost.

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