Dragons are mythical beasts and there is something of that about Persicaria Red Dragon, as it doesn’t look quite like anything else. It forms a rather interesting jagged clump with the deep maroon sharply pointed leaves with their pale-edged dark chevronned centres stealing the show. It sports clusters of white flowers in summer, too. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 18 in. 2 litre pot.


Persicaria Red Dragon can be rather good choice for a shady spot where it will lurk very appealingly and will enjoy being pruned back to encourage new bushy growth. Another very effective siting we saw once was on a river bank - the banks of our local and legendary chalk stream, the River Test, in fact.

The name Persicaria means peach-like, on account of the resemblance of the leaves, we are led to believe, and P. Microcephala, the species of which Red Dragon is a cultivar, means little-headed in reference to the size of the flowers. Persicaria Red Dragon was originally discovered in China as a sport in a commercial crop of the species, but it was then taken forward and eventually to market by Greg Speichert in the USA and was given patented status in 2001.

It’s an easy plant to grow, but we find it is worth cutting back the stems of Red Dragon a couple of times during the growing seasion in order to maintain a tidy compact shape. Take things back to ground level in early winter. It’s a well behaved plant completely lacking the tendency to take over which some other persicarias have. The video below deals with persicarias in a general manner, but Red Dragon turns up around 2:50.

Persicaria Red Dragon is a hardy perennial plant with pointed maroon  leaves with grey chevrons and white flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.

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