Persicaria affinis ‘Superba’

Himalayan Bistort

Persicaria affinis ‘Superba’ is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial that forms weed-smothering mats of fresh green, lance-shaped leaves, bluish on the reverse.

Erect, ‘rat-tail’ flower spikes rise from the centre in late summer, carrying a densely clustered ‘toilet-brush’ of tiny flowers that are pink in bud opening to a deep ruby. Leaves flush crimson-bronze in autumn, only to return to green again over winter. The Himalayan Bistort makes excellent ground cover that is not too rampant for any soil that doesn’t dry out completely. Similar to ‘Darjeeling Red’ but slightly larger and with paler flowers.

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Origin: Himalayas (Tibet, Nepal, northern India, Pakistan, Kashmir)
Genus: Persicaria
Species / Cultivar: affinis 'superba'
Common Name: Himalayan Bistort
Synonym: Polygonum affine 'Superbum', Persicaria affinis 'Dimity'

Plant Biography

Persicaria affinis ‘Superba,’ also known as Himalayan Bistort, is a cultivar of the species Persicaria affinis. The exact origin of ‘Superba’ is not well-documented, but it likely emerged through selective breeding to enhance its attractive qualities. This perennial ground cover has been widely grown in gardens since the mid-20th century. ‘Superba’ gained popularity for its dense, spreading habit, vibrant pink flowers, and ability to thrive in various growing conditions. Its versatility and low-maintenance nature have made it a cherished addition to landscapes, providing a delightful splash of colour and texture from late summer to autumn.

Persicaria affinis 'Superba'
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
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: 0.5-1m
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: Semi Evergreen
May only remain evergreen in milder winters, or only loose leaves for a short period.
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

Persicaria affinis ‘Superba,’ or Himalayan Bistort, is easy to care for and cultivate. Plant it in well-draining soil and a sunny to partially shaded location. Once established, it is drought-tolerant, making it ideal for low-water gardens. Regular watering during dry spells will benefit its growth. Minimal pruning is needed to maintain its attractive appearance.

This perennial ground cover is relatively pest-resistant and low-maintenance, making it a popular choice for borders, rock gardens, or as a delightful ground cover. Enjoy its vibrant pink flowers and dense spreading habit, adding beauty and texture to your landscape effortlessly.

Himalayan Bistort will not grow much taller than 0.5 metres, but it will continue to spread horizontally so be sure to allow sufficient room for it to do so. It is easy to pull out runners where they are not wanted, and these can be potted up or planted in other parts of the garden.


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