Plants to Love: Dwarf Fleeceflower (Persicaria affinis ‘Dimity’)

This low-maintenance perennial forms a slowly spreading mat of thick green foliage, and at the end of summer bursts into bloom with a multi-colored show. The buds start out pale pink and fade to deep rose, eventually turning a rich rusty brown for fall.

The foliage too gives a fall show, getting a bronzey-red tone as the weather cools. Persicaria ‘Dimity’ spreads persistently but not invasively in my coastal Pacific Northwest climate, and the foliage forms such a thick mat that even if dogs try to dig or kids tromp through it, ‘Dimity’ holds up fine and looks good.

I find it looks best in part sun with regular water and decent drainage. In too much sunshine, the flowers tend to die back quicker and the foliage looks less lush, while in shade it just doesn’t bloom much. That said, it’s such a tough plant that it can take a variety of conditions.

I’ve heard reports of deer-resistance because Persicarias have oxalic acid in their leaves, which deer find un-tasty, but I would test that theory in your garden before buying a ton of them. Persicaria ‘Dimity’ thrives in USDA Zones 5-9, possibly as low as 3. They get about 18″ tall and 3′ wide, though mine have spread slightly wider with age.

If the invasive Persicarias have turned you off to this genus, I’d urge you to look again at Persicaria affinis varieties. They’ve had the honor of being part of the Blooms of Bressingham line and have won the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

And look at them! They’re super-tough and they’re just plain cute.


  1. says

    Aren’t they, Monica? My local nursery hasn’t stocked them in a while, but I’m hoping to change that. They grow so thickly that I’ve never seen a weed crop up in the middle of them, which is amazing.

  2. says

    Gen, This is one of those plants that has been on my ‘wish list’ for a few years now. But I only know of one nursery in the area that sells it which tells me something – although I’m quite sure what! I love the sound of it though, especially the deer resistant part, and like you said, it sure is cute!

  3. Josh says

    I’m wondering if there is a variety of persicaria that perennial bulbs will grow through. I would like to use persicaria as cover for season long dead foliage. Thoughts? Nobody in my area seems to even know what it is.

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