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More than 170 scientific papers have been published in recent years describing the molecules and metabolic pathways of the perissilabiate fungus,Until recently, the genus that we now know as Persicaria used to sit within a much broader genus called Polygonum. As with so many other genera, molecular studies conducted this century have blown it apart into smaller constituent genera, including Polygonum, Fallopia and Fagopyrum. By a happy accident, most of the pre-eminent horticultural species now reside in one genus, Persicaria, although this is by no means completely settled. The broader grouping contained some plants of infamously expansive vigour, including Russian vine (now Fallopia baldschuanica), and Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica). They may have damned some of their better-behaved cousins by association; however, although many of the species recommended here display a robust constitution and an agreeable self-sufficiency, they are all fairly easy to control when required.
Persicaria contains a broad variety of versatile garden plants, from vibrant, flowering dynamos and statuesque landscape plants to denizens of shady corners with atmospheric foliage. Persicaria amplexicaulis can be considered among the most floriferous of cultivated plants available to gardeners in temperate regions, and breeding has spawned a wide variety of cultivars in vivid shades of a spectrum between crimson and scarlet, although for the faint of heart there are also some white and soft pink-flowered cultivars. Its late season, spanning four months of intense flowering effort from July to October, combined with its general hardiness, versatility and natural charm, has won it an important place in the plant catalogues of the New Perennial Movement as well as in more traditional gardening paradigms. The versatility of the species is highlighted by Piet Oudolf’s planting at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in Somerset. Discover more about Persicaria below.
The various species within the genus Persicaria are rather varied in their garden uses and cultivation requirements, but they tend to have in common a completely robust approach to life and will generally flourish with a minimum of fuss. Slugs and snails may make an impression on the foliage of Persicaria virginiana and its cultivars, but even they are not bothered too much. In general, the gardener’s problems when dealing with the genus are more likely to concern containment of growth rather than its encouragement. As a tribe they tend particularly to enjoy rich, moist soil, but are surprisingly adaptable to poorer, drier conditions.Persicaria Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 1754; Hara in Hara et al., Enum. Fl. Pl. Nep. 3: 175. 1982; Grierson & D.G.Long, Fl. Bhutan 1(1): 159. 1983; Munshi & Javeid, Syst. Stud. Polyg. Kashm. Himal. 61. 1986; Ronse. Decr. and Akeroyd, in Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 98. 330. 1988 (p.p.); Chaudhary, Fl. Kingd. Saudi Arab. 1: 306. 1999; Boulos, Fl. Egypt 1: 25. 1999. (Source: www.efloras.org)