Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’

Common name: Mountain Fleece (Kerzen-Knoeterich)

This herbaceous perennial has bright and majestic spikes of  red flowers in late summer and autumn.

They really do look like tall candles shining, which the German name suggests. Or indeed like ‘tails’.

It loves the sunny spot in my rockery, where I planted it last autumn. Despite the very cold and snowy winter, with several weeks of permafrost and temperatures down to below -13°at times, the robust shoots appeared in late spring. It was a long wait to see the flowers, but well worth it, since many of my rockery plants have already gone over by September.  It’s a splash of colour and gives height and dynamics at this time of year, growing to about 80cm in my garden, 15cm of which are the flowers themselves.

The foliage is also attractive: large – yet slender – light green, ovate leaves, reminiscent of dock leaves.

Apparently it is also semi-evergreen, so I will watch it until we get the first snow. What’s more, the slugs and snails have ignored it completely, and the bees and insects love the flowers!