Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon' foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 3 feet
Spacing: 30 inches
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Other Names: Knotweed, Polygonum
A daring foliage perennial; pointy heart shaped leaves are copper-green at the edges, with a silvery V shaped marking and a deep purple streak; flowers are almost an afterthought; an exceptional choice for season-long color in a garden composition
Red Dragon Fleeceflower has masses of beautiful spikes of white flowers rising above the foliage from early summer to early fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive large pointy leaves remain coppery-bronze in color with prominent deep purple stripes and tinges of white throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Red Dragon Fleeceflower is an herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Red Dragon Fleeceflower is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Red Dragon Fleeceflower will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 30 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Red Dragon Fleeceflower is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.