Red bistort Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Inverleith'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
red bistort 'Inverleith'


Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Inverleith', commonly referred to as Red bistort or Mountain Fleece, is a flowering perennial known for its striking appearance. The plant has a bushy, clump-forming habit with broad, lance-shaped leaves that are a deep green color and often have a slightly glossy surface. The foliage provides a lush backdrop for the standout feature of this cultivar: its slender, spike-like flower stalks. The flowers themselves are small, densely packed, and adorn the spike from the base to the tip like beads on a string. They exhibit a rich, reddish-purple color, which adds a vibrant dash of color to garden settings. The bloom spikes gracefully arch above the foliage and can create a sense of movement as they sway in the breeze. These inflorescences make the Red bistort a popular choice among gardeners looking to add both texture and color to their plantings. Furthermore, the plant's long blooming season, which typically lasts from mid-summer to early fall, ensures a continuous display of its delightful flowers. In addition to its visual appeal, the Red bistort is attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which are drawn to its nectar-rich blossoms. This makes it not only a beautiful addition to gardens but also a beneficial one for supporting local ecosystems. While avoiding specific measurements, it's worth noting that the Red bistort has a proportionate balance between its lush foliage and the vertical interest created by its flower spikes, contributing to its popularity as an ornamental garden plant.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Red Bistort, Mountain Fleece, Bistorta Amplexicaulis 'Inverleith'.

    • Common names

      Bistorta amplexicaulis, Polygonum amplexicaule, Persicaria amplexicaulis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Persicaria amplexicaulis, commonly known as Bistort or Red Bistort, does not have a widespread reputation for being toxic to humans. There are no well-documented cases of toxicity in humans resulting from ingestion or contact with this plant. Therefore, no specific symptoms of poisoning or consequences of ingesting this plant are generally recognized. However, it is always advisable for individuals to exercise caution and avoid eating ornamental plants without expert advice.

    • To pets

      The Persicaria amplexicaulis, commonly known as Bistort or Red Bistort, is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to household pets, including dogs and cats. There are no specific reports detailing symptoms of poisoning from ingestion of this plant by pets. Nonetheless, it is always prudent to prevent pets from eating plants not intended for consumption, as individual animals may have different sensitivities or allergic reactions.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: The plant's flowers provide nectar for bees and butterflies, enhancing pollinator biodiversity.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of dry weather, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Long Blooming Period: It flowers from midsummer to autumn, offering prolonged visual interest.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care beyond occasional watering and pruning, suitable for low-maintenance gardening.
    • Deer and Rabbit Resistant: Less likely to be eaten by deer and rabbits, which can be beneficial in areas where these animals are common.
    • Winter Hardiness: Can survive cold winters, making it a good choice for gardens in cooler climates.
    • Architectural Interest: Its tall, upright stems and bushy foliage add vertical interest to garden borders.
    • Soil Adaptability: Adaptable to a range of soil types, including clay soils, as long as there is good drainage.
    • Vibrant Colors: Produces bright magenta or reddish-pink flowers that add a splash of color to the garden landscape.
    • Erosion Control: The plant's spreading habit and dense growth can help prevent soil erosion on slopes or banks.
    • Mass Planting Impact: Works well when planted in large groups, creating a dramatic and cohesive visual effect.
    • Garden Versatility: Suitable for a variety of garden styles, including cottage gardens, contemporary schemes, and naturalistic plantings.
    • Provides Structure: Its foamy flowers and green foliage give structure to perennial beds and borders.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Inverleith', commonly known as Red bistort, can be used for natural dyeing; its roots and leaves may yield reddish or brownish colors for textiles.
    • This plant's sturdy stems can be incorporated into decorative arrangements or used as natural stakes for supporting other plants in the garden.
    • Dried flowers of Red bistort can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for a touch of natural color and subtle fragrance indoors.
    • The dense growth habit of Red bistort offers a natural erosion control solution on sloped garden areas.
    • Red bistort can provide a secluded microhabitat for beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which help control pest populations.
    • The plant's tall, attractive flowering stalks can be used in educational settings to teach students about pollination and plant growth cycles.
    • As a robust and easy-to-grow plant, Red bistort may be utilized in urban greening projects to enhance aesthetic appeal and biodiversity.
    • The leaves of Red bistort can serve as a modest food source for some species of caterpillars, which in turn attracts birds for a lively garden ecosystem.
    • Photographers and painters may use the vibrant blooms of Red bistort as a natural backdrop for artistic compositions focused on wildlife and flora.
    • Gardeners may utilize this plant in sensory gardens due to its textured foliage and the soft brush of its flower heads when brushed against.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Persicaria is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Persicaria is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Versatility: Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Inverleith', commonly known as "Red bistort" or "Mountain fleece," thrives in various conditions, symbolizing adaptability and versatility in life.
    • Growth: As this plant can spread easily and grow profusely, it is often associated with personal growth and the idea of flourishing against the odds.
    • Unity: The dense clusters of flowers can represent unity and togetherness, suggesting a strong sense of community or family ties.
    • Protection: The way the plant's foliage envelops its flowers can symbolize protection and care, reflecting a nurturing personality or a safe environment.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to early autumn
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Red Bistort should be watered regularly, especially during prolonged dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. In general, providing 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or manual watering, is usually sufficient. Depending on the weather and soil type, this could translate to about 0.6 gallons per square yard weekly. During hotter periods, water the plants deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth. Always check the soil moisture before watering to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    The Red Bistort thrives in full sun to partial shade conditions. It's best situated in a spot that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight a day for optimal growth and flowering. However, in hotter climates, the Red Bistort benefits from some afternoon shade to protect its leaves from scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Red Bistort is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, surviving in conditions as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which encourages robust growth and flowering. Ensure the plant is well-mulched to protect its roots during the coldest months.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Red Bistort is primarily done to maintain its shape and to remove any spent flower spikes to encourage additional blooming. The best time for pruning is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back the entire plant to about 6 inches above the ground to promote fresh, healthy growth. Prune again lightly after the first flush of flowers if the plant becomes leggy or to stimulate a second round of blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Red Bistort 'Inverleith' thrives best in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil mix with a pH ranging from neutral to slightly acidic. A combination of garden soil, compost, and a bit of sand or perlite to improve drainage would create an ideal environment for this hardy perennial. Regular enrichment with organic matter will keep the soil conditions optimal for its growth.

  • plantRepotting

    The Red Bistort 'Inverleith' typically does not require frequent repotting as it is a herbaceous perennial that dies back in winter and regrows in spring. It may be divided or repotted for propagation or if it outgrows its space, which is usually every 3-5 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Red Bistort 'Inverleith' prefers average to high humidity levels. It is adaptable to outdoor garden settings where humidity tends to be naturally higher, especially in the morning and evening. However, it does not have specific humidity requirements when planted outside in its hardiness zones.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright indirect light and moist soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, enrich soil, and water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Inverleith', commonly known as red bistort or mountain fleece 'Inverleith', begins its life cycle as a seed, which when sown in fertile, well-drained soil and with adequate moisture, will germinate typically in the spring. As the seedling emerges and develops, it forms a rosette of leaves at the base and elongated stems which will eventually bear the characteristic dense, spike-like clusters of reddish-purple flowers in the summer. Throughout the growing season, it gradually forms a clump, as the root system expands and the plant produces more foliage and flowering stems. After the blooming period, which can last until the first frosts, the flowers will fade and seeds will develop, which can be dispersed by wind or animals, encouraging propagation. In autumn, the foliage may change color adding ornamental interest before the plant dies back to the ground level to overwinter. In the following spring, the plant will resprout from its hardy rootstock, thus continuing its perennial life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to early autumn

    • The most popular method for propagating Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Inverleith', commonly known as Red Bistort or Mountain Fleece, is by division. This process is typically done in the spring when the plant’s growth resumes or in the fall after the blooming period. To propagate by division, carefully lift the plant from the ground and use a sharp spade or knife to divide the clump into smaller sections, each with several shoots and a portion of the root system. Replant the new divisions immediately, spacing them approximately 12 to 18 inches (about 30 to 45 centimeters) apart to allow sufficient room for growth. Water the new plants thoroughly to help establish them in their new location. This clumping perennial responds well to division, and it is a straightforward way to create new plants that will match the parent in terms of its vibrant flower spikes and foliage.