Name: Persicaria polymorpha aka Giant Fleece Flower
Type of Plant: A large, June-flowering perennial that’s hardy in Zones 4 to 9.
Why I Love This Plant: This reliable perennial thrives in full sun in gardens that are deeply watered once a week. It’s like an Astilbe on steroids! Dark green leaves and white plumes of flowers make this a show-stopper plant in the back of a perennial garden, or in front of taller flowering shrubs. I love the fact that I don’t have to support it – it’s very sturdy, unless you’re over-fertilizing. I also love that the giant fleece flower is large and showy early in the summer, and so it makes the perfect background plant for foxgloves, peonies, catmint, and smaller shrub roses.
And let’s not forget that the deer and bunnies leave it alone!
A Word to the Wise: The flowers on Persicaria polymorpha start to fade in early July, and if you promptly cut them off just below the declining bloom, the plant will make a few more smaller flowers. If the plant has enough water it will be green and attractive through the rest of the summer, but should it begin to brown out, you can cut the entire plant to the ground and it will produce some fresh, new leaves and look decent for the remainder of the season.
Note: This is not the invasive Japanese knotweed, nor is it the more aggressive species of Polygonum or Persicaria.