also known as Pink bubble persicaria
(and some know it as Japanese Knotweed, but not that knotweed!)
This Himalayan perennial is (for me, surprisingly) not very hardy, but manages to return year after year by self-seeding. Originally bought as a summer plant for a pot, it can now be found in the crevices of our stone steps, or at the edges of the flower beds. Even after a very cold winter the seeds germinate… I tried saving seed from one plant and scattering it in the rockery, but it is choosy and only grows where IT wants!
As ground cover, a very useful plant. It tolerates drought and harsh sun. The foliage is pinkish brown, and the little pink bubblegum flowers only grow to about 10cm high. The flowers appear from August onwards, and the colour of both flower and foliage intensifies later in the year.
Beware – if you have a mild climate with little frost, this could become a thug! (But a pretty one!)