Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mountain Fleece
Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail'

Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria (per-sih-KAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: amplexicaulis (am-pleks-ih-KAW-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Firetail
Additional cultivar information: (aka Speciosa)

Synonym:Bistorta amplexicaulis
Synonym:Polygonum amplexicaule

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

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


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

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

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

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

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2 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Terri1948 On Aug 14, 2014, Terri1948 from Yorkshire

Seems to also be a wasp magnet. Every time I see this in bloom it has several wasps feeding on the flowers. Obviously if you dislike wasps (or if you are allergic to wasp stings) this plant should be avoided.

Positive coriaceous On Feb 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A handsome, well-behaved, long-lived border perennial. This cultivar is supposed to be a little shorter than the species, and to have longer flower spikes, but I can't tell them apart. Both bloom nonstop from early summer to frost. Neither is either aggressive or invasive.

Grows from a thick shallow rhizome that is slow-growing and easy to control. Better with protection from afternoon shade if you grow it here without irrigation (Boston, MA Z6a), though I've seen another cultivar happily growing in full sun twenty years after being abandoned.

I have had significant Japanese beetle damage on other plants, but not on this one.

Positive saya On Feb 19, 2013, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

The Mountain Fleeceflowers are widely used in European gardens. Give this plant elbow room. Wonderful for massing in (slightly) moist areas. Flowers are excellent for cutting. These longflowering plants are easy to maintain and combine very well with grasses or in 'Dutch Wave' plantings. Plants are easily divided in early spring. While this plant is a steady spreader, it is not considered to be invasive in any way.

Mountain Fleece 'Firetail' received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM)

Negative cjmiller1 On Jul 14, 2012, cjmiller1 from Kingsville, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

A Japanese beetle magnet! Unless the plant is sprayed, the leaves resemble green Swiss cheese in a day or two.

Neutral macybee On Oct 19, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Persicaria amplexicaulis syn Bistorta amplexicaulis, Polygonum amplexicaule - Bistort, Mountain Fleece
Persicaria amplexicaulis is a clump-forming, leafy, semi-evergreen perennial from the Himalayas. It has oval to heart-shaped mid-green leaves and grows to a height and spread of 4'. Its profuse spikes of small, rich red flowers are borne from summer to fall.
P amplexicaulis 'Firetail' is a low grower with vivid crimson flowers.
'Inverleith' is a dwarf cultivar with short spikes of deep crimson flowers.
Zones 5-9
Cultivation: Most species are vigorous and very frost hardy and easily cultivated in any well-drained soil in sun or part-shade; indeed, some are too vigorous and may become invasive. The stronger growers are best planted where they can be contained. Propagate from seed in spring or by division in spring or fall.


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

Hoopa, California
Waukegan, Illinois
Kingsville, Maryland
Harwich Port, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Lexington, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Stanwood, Washington

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