Persicaria affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’

Himalayan bistort

Persicaria affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ is a resilient and attractive perennial ground cover that graces gardens with its enduring charm. Originating from the Himalayan region, this low-growing herbaceous plant is renowned for its vibrant foliage and captivating crimson-red flower spikes. The heart-shaped leaves provide an appealing backdrop to the main attraction—a profusion of bright red, bottlebrush-like flowers that bloom from late spring through summer. These blooms not only add a burst of colour but also attract pollinators to your garden.

‘Darjeeling Red’ is a robust and versatile ground cover, forming dense mats that suppress weeds and erosion. It thrives in various soil types and can adapt to both sunny and partially shaded areas. With minimal maintenance and a penchant for spreading, it’s an ideal choice for creating eye-catching, low-maintenance ground covers, edging, or container gardening, adding a touch of vivacity to any landscape.

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Origin: Himalayas, from Afghanistan to eastern Nepal
Genus: Persicaria
Species / Cultivar: affinis 'Darjeeling Red'
Common Name: Himalayan bistort
Synonym: affinis 'Darjeeling Red'

Plant Biography

Persicaria affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ belongs to the Persicaria genus, which encompasses a diverse group of plants with a rich botanical history. These plants are members of the Polygonaceae family and are often referred to as bistort or smartweeds. While ‘Darjeeling Red’ is a cultivar with specific attributes, its genus, Persicaria, has origins dating back to various regions around the world.

The genus Persicaria includes both annual and perennial species that are found in a wide range of habitats, from wetlands to woodlands. The name “Persicaria” is derived from “persica,” meaning Persian, as it was once believed that these plants had Persian origins.

‘Darjeeling Red’ is a modern cultivar of Persicaria affinis, however its botanical lineage can be traced back to the diverse and widespread Persicaria genus, which has fascinated botanists and horticulturalists for centuries due to its adaptability and ecological significance.

Persicaria affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 0.1-0.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.1-0.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Caring for Persicaria affinis, commonly known as Himalayan bistort, is relatively simple. This resilient perennial ground cover thrives in well-drained soil and can tolerate a variety of soil types. It’s adaptable to both full sun and partial shade, making it versatile for different garden settings. While it’s drought-tolerant once established, regular watering during dry spells helps it to establish and maintain its lush appearance. Pruning after flowering can encourage compact growth and prevent it from becoming too leggy. As it spreads, it forms dense mats that suppress weeds, making it a valuable addition for ground cover and erosion control. With minimal maintenance, Persicaria affinis adds vibrant colour and texture to gardens and landscapes.

If given ample water, Persicara affinis ‘Darjeeling Red’ can spread quickly, but it is easily kept under control by pulling up the suckers which venture into surrounding soil. These can be discarded or potted up as new plants.

Expert Tip

If the plant loses vigour after several years, lift and divide in early spring.


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