In the Gardens - White fleece flower
Persicaria polymorpha, also known as white fleece flower looks like a shrub but it grows like a herbaceous perennial, dying back to the ground in winter. However, it makes up for it by quickly growing upwards of five feet tall and almost as wide the following season. The white fleece flower stays in a well-behaved clump and rarely seeds or spreads by rhizomes. It is widely adaptable and requires little maintenance.
White fleece flowers have dark green, alternate pointed leaves with slightly serrated edges. The stems are sturdy but may need some support by the end of summer. Its white plumes are popular with butterflies and even the late-season seed heads are also attractive.
Plants can be hard to find in nurseries, but it never hurts to ask. You may have the best luck by asking around local gardening groups and seeing if one of your fellow gardeners will give you some of theirs. The young plants don’t look like much, but a small clump will quickly fill out and blossom.
It can take a year or two for white fleece flower plants to reach their mature size, but once they do, expect a bushy plant with exceptional height and spread. It will bend slightly toward the sun, but should not need staking. The flowers start in early summer and peak shortly after.
Beechwood’s Chief Horticulturalist Tip: The white fleece flower is a great perennial to use in place of shrubs. It’s a very hardy and long-blooming. The white fleece flower has a real presence in the garden and is an ideal plant to establish a border that may need a vertical accent or to create a living screen.