Mountain fleece is a clump forming herbaceous perennial native to the Himalayas and Pakistan where it grows in moist areas. It is a member of the knotweed family, Polygonaceae, that includes rhubarb, buckwheat and some infamous weeds. The heart-shaped leaves have wavy margins are five to seven inches long and slightly puckered. The red to pink flowers are ¼ inch wide and carried in thin, six inch long spikes from mid summer into fall. Although some species of Polygonum can be invasive, this one is not and several good cultivars are available. They tolerate wet soils and are a good choice for a bog garden, along streams and around ponds as well as in a border. The genus name Polygonum comes from the Greek words poly meaning many and goni meaning knee or joint and refers to the swollen nodes on the stems of some species. The specific epithet, amplexicaulis comes from Latin words ampliexus meaning clasped, and caulis meaning stalk or stem and refers to the way the leaves join the stem.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Six inch long spike of red to pink flowers from mid summer to fall
Size: 2-5’ H x 3-4’ W
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Average,medium moist, well-drained but tolerates wet soil.
Hardiness: Zones 4-7
Care: Low maintenance
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Division in spring or fall
Companion plants: Spotted Joe Pye Weed, Verbena bonariensis, Maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
‘Firetail’ (Flowers larger and crimson scarlet, on 4’ plants)