Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bistort, Easter Ledges, Dragonwort, Snake Weed
Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'

Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria (per-sih-KAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: bistorta (bis-TOR-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Superba
Additional cultivar information: (aka Superbum)

Synonym:Polygonum bistorta

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Feb 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The May/June flowers are beautiful, and this is one of the plants that most frequently elicits questions from those on garden tours. It's not commonly grown in New England. It blooms for about 3 weeks.

Armitage (_Herbaceous Perennial Plants_) states that it's hardy in Z3-7, and that it does poorly in the hot humid summers of the southeast.

It's an aggressive spreader in the garden by a thick shallow rhizome. It's not difficult to control if you're willing to dig out the excess annually. But I now regret not planting it in a sunken bottomless container, as I wasn't vigilant enough to stop it from bulldozing its way over some smaller neighbors and killing them.

Fortunately, I haven't seen this self-sow. It isn't ecologically invasive in New England.

In the heat of summer, it does require a bit more water than most of my perennials, but it isn't the thirstiest, either. It probably helps that the soil is a heavy silt, and it gets dappled shade most of the day.

I've had it for about 15 years in Boston Z6a, with never any winter protection.

Positive soldiersong On Nov 11, 2010, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

One of the summer highlights of my shade garden with its beautiful tall pink flowers, it thrives in clay soil in partial shade.

It does spread by root, but is easily controlled. I pull up what I don't want in the spring and pot it up for my local plant sale.

It seems to like the shady clay, which holds moisture well in summer head.

Positive jackidee On May 13, 2009, jackidee from Sherwood, OR wrote:

Mine is in heavy soil and often dry in summer, which seems to keep it within bounds easily. Wonderful cut flower.

Neutral Baa On Sep 9, 2002, Baa wrote:

A semi-evergreen perennial cultivar.

Bears dense spikes of soft pink flowers which bees seem to like.

This one will tolerate drier soil than most other Persicaria but will flower better and for longer in moist but well drained soils.

Probably won't come true from seed and not to be mixed up with Persicaria affinis 'Superba'


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Calgary, Alberta
Sioux City, Iowa
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Warren, Michigan
North Plains, Oregon
Sherwood, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah
New Lisbon, Wisconsin

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