Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon'

Latin Name: Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon'
Common Name: Persicaria, Red Dragon, Red Dragon Knotweed
Mature Height (ft): 3-4'
Mature Width: 3'

Mature Shape

Mulch: Organic.

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The most remarkable quality of Red Dragon Persicaria is its burgundy red patterned leaves and red stems, a plant grown much more for its foliage than flowers. (The flower stalk in the upper right is of Acanthus spinosus.) Not a native (native to China) it will come back if nipped by a late frost and will suffer sunburn in afternoon sun. Red Dragon may take 3 years before flowering, however, that is not a drawback.

Persicaria 'Red Dragon' belongs to the same family as the invasive knotweed, Persicaria capitata, also known at Polygonum capitata, from the Himalyayas.

American Bistort, or smartweed, Persicaria bistortoides (Polygonum bistortoides) is native to higher elevations of NW USA.


Use in Garden

Sun to part shade near the back of a medium water-use mixed bed or border. Western cottage garden.


Cut back and clean up once it freezes. Top dress with 1 inch of compost spring and fall.