Persicaria Amphibia – Amphibious Bistort
Persicaria Amphibia, also known as Polygonum Amphibian, is a terrestrial native plant that grows wild all over the UK. It thrives as a deep water submerged plant, such as in natural clay bottomed ponds, lakes, rivers, ditches and man-made canals. But, being terrestrial, (growing on both land and water), it will also grow quite happily in marshes, water meadows and other damp and boggy places. Hence the common name, Amphibious Bistort.
How to plant Amphibious Bistort
Polygonum Amphibian is easy to grow and does best when planted straight into natural clay bottomed areas of water. It is so adaptable it can also be grown easily in man-made, lined fibreglass ponds; it just needs planting into large aquatic baskets of 24cm in diameter or wider. Amphibious Bistort favours a water depth of 12-24 inches, but will also grow quite happily in water that is up to 4 ft in depth. It has even been known, on rare occasions, to grow in water that is up to 8 ft in depth. Once planted, Polygonum Amphibian will establish itself quickly; within a few seasons, it will produce an abundance of cheery looking, attractive, elongated floating leaves. Then, from June until September, its very pretty pink flowers will stand up out of the water.
Benefits of Amphibious Bistort
However, this highly underestimated plant has got more going for it than just pretty flowers. Its elongated floating leaves make excellent water surface cover; they will block out sunlight, and therefore help reduce spring and summer Algae blooms. Also, this plant is excellent at removing nitrates from the water; and this in turn will also help to combat those dreaded Algae and Blanket Weed problems. Its floating leaves will attract our lovely spring spawning Toads, offer a valuable hiding place for small fish and various other wildlife from any predators. And last but not least, its beautiful flowers will attract our hard working bees and other pollinating insects. So, this plant really does have something for everyone.
If you have water in your garden or work with water in a natural environment, Persicaria Amphibium surely deserves a home with you. Sometimes a forgotten and very under-rated plant, Persicaria definitely deserves much more recognition and certainly has earned its place at our nursery. Persicaria is available to buy from Lilies Water Gardens www.lilieswatergardens.co.uk throughout the spring and summer.