In a Vase on Monday: Taxing Taxonomy

I am once again happy to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden in putting together a Monday vase full of materials from my garden.

Not an easy task in November, but not yet an impossible one!

Apart from some sorry looking roses and almost black sedums, there is not much going on in the garden now. My Hypericum still looks lovely, but I am unwilling to cut any more of that as it can be seen so well from the living room window. So today I picked some Persicaria, still flowering like mad. 🙂

However, I am still confused as to what I should call them…

Persicaria, Poylgonum, Bistorta?

Wikipedia was no help: ‘The generic placement of this species is in flux. While treated here in Persicaria, it has also been placed in Polygonum or Bistorta.’

What has confused me is the continued use of ‘Persicaria’ in the UK while ‘Polygonum’ seems to be the most frequently used name here in Germany. I can see my Persicaria amplexicaulis listed as Polygonum amplexicaule or Bistorta amplexicaulis. But other Persicarias can be Polygonum Bistorta, Persicaria bistorta, Bistorta officinalis, or…. wait for it…. even ‘Aconogonon’.  ??? The online nursery I order from has helpfully explained that due to the constant shuffling of names going on they are continuing to use the name ‘Polygonum’ with a relaxed attitude in case there should be another change of opinion soon!

Maybe we should go back to common names after all…. Some are quite nice, like ‘Mountain Fleece’. Others not so nice, like ‘Knotweed’ or ‘Snakeweed’, and even the German (translated) ‘Toothbrush’!

Well, my vase contains: Polygonum amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’, Polygonum microcephala ‘Red Dragon’, Polygonum amplexicaule ‘Blackfield’ and Polygonum amplexicaule ‘Album’. And should anyone ask I would call them all Persicarias for the sake of simplicity!

What would you call them?