September 8, 2010

Dainty Dimity

I love this fleeceflower.  It's Persicaria affinis 'Dimity', also synonymous with Polygonom affine 'Superba'.  I like the name Dimity better... it sounds dainty and that describes this little groundcover with its cute pipecleaner spires.

It is knotweed, yes, a member of that awful horrid family.  But it is a little low grower, six inches high, a mat of clean green foliage tinged with red, and it spreads but is very well behaved.  It sits in front of its fat glossy neighbor Bergenia 'Rosi Klose' and they seem to like each other.

Cyndy at Gardening Asylum did a post on 3 kinds of knotweeds earlier this summer, and I loved her big giant polymorpha.  That one is going to be in my garden just as soon as I completely redesign my beds to provide enough room for it.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the little one, the dainty Dimity, as it spreads nicely to cover the bare spots in the front of my garden.

This patch of garden has Dimity fleeceflower and a small amsonia 'Blue Ice' planted together.  You can see the amsonia's foliage at the top of this photo. They are both low plants with medium green lance shaped leaves, which would normally be too similar to look very good in combination.  But the fleeceflower is sturdy and stiff, with upright spikes, and the amsonia is loose and waves in a breeze.  They look great together, in this case because of contrasting movement rather than form or color.

You should see Dimity in fall, when the leaves turn rich maroon, contrasting with the clear yellow fall foliage of the amsonia next to it, and the flaming colors of a big maple above.  Then, in winter, the fleeceflower's foliage hangs on, making a dark rusty red streak that peeks out of the snow before it gets too deep.

It amazes me how persicarias can come in such widely different sizes and forms.  And how some of the cousins in the family can be so thuggish and others so cute and sweet.

6 comments:

  1. Laurrie, Is Dimity deer resistant for you? I've read conflicting reports on that and while I'd love to add it to my garden I don't need anything else to protect from my hungry deer. :)

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  2. Debbie, the deer have not touched my Dimity at all. They do go after the daylilies and turtlehead at the back of this garden, so that may be keeping them away from the fleeceflower.

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  3. I haven't seen any before but your description has convinced me to try it.

    If I can't find your house after midnight to liberate any I'll have to ask my favorite wholesale grower to start growing some.

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  4. Wiseacre, I hope you do try this nice groundcover. I got my first plants at a local garden center, and then ordered a few more from LazyS mail order. If you want to attempt a midnight raid, I have some nice weeds you can help yourself to.

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  5. Very nice! I visited a garden that had fleeceflower (not sure which one) as a ground cover on the side of a small rounded raised bed and it was lovely. Good choice! :)

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  6. Garden Ms. S, thanks! This one is the only groundcover fleeceflower I know of, so I assume it must have been the same one you saw.

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