The giant fleeceflower, Persicaria polymorpha, is perhaps the gentlest giant of our monster perennials. This plant has so fully surprised me with its size and presence that I have yet to utilize it properly. It has dark green, lance-shaped leaves with slightly serrated edges. The stems are strong, but in windy locations or near the end of the season some support may be needed.The flowers are large astilbe-like plumes, white in sporing and fading to pink by September. For a monster it has proven to be well behaved, reliable and hardy in our zone. Due to its success I will have to do some major re-thinking of the front garden layout to see how I can better use this plant. Specimen, screen, background, hedge, massed…I think this plant could find a place in any garden, large or small.
At the moment, this plant has almost overwhelmed one corner of our garden with its success. Due to bad planning on my part, I did not take the full potential size of this plant into account. This is not an invasive Persicaria. It is clump forming and I have noticed no stolons or self-seeding so far and the plant has been in the garden for about 5 years. This substantial plant does require careful placement in the landscape and I will have to do some plant moving next year to better account for this plants growth habit.
As a plant for the bug garden, I have only observed that it is mildly succesful. Some have listed it as attracting butterflies, but to date I have not noticed this attribute. It has been mostly smaller beetles and flies that are attracted to the blooms. I intend to do some night-time observations to see if perhaps moths or other night fliers are making use of the flower.