Persicaria virginiana, Virginia Knotweed

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Earlier classified as Polygonum virginianum or Tovara virginiana, this native commonly occurs throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic Region. It also is called Jumpseed because pressure on its mature seeds causes them to jump off the plant for dispersal. The cultivar ‘Painter’s Palette,’ which can spread aggressively, is grown primarily for its attractive variegated foliage.

Print Version: Persicaria virginiana, Virginia Knotweed 
Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Knotweed); Ground Cover: Height: 1–4 feet (‘Painter’s Palette’ 11⁄2–2 feet); Spread: 11⁄2–3 feet; Bloom Color: Greenish to pinkish white (red and white for ‘Painter’s Palette’). Characteristics: Clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with upright, arching stems and a knotty rhizome. Broad, oval leaves with pointed tips; distinctive sheathed stem joints. Widely spaced, tiny white flowers with 4 petal- like sepals in long, curving racemes in summer. White oval fruit (red on ‘Painter’s Palette’) with the style drooping from the tip. Spreads rapidly by rhizomes and self-seeding. Attributes: Tolerates drought, once established, and deer. No serious pests or diseases. Attracts butterflies. Growing and Maintenance Tips: Soil Requirements: Well-drained; Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade; Water Requirements: Moist; Plant on a site protected from wind. Deadhead flowers or grow in a container to control spread; ‘Painter’s Palette’ can spread aggressively. Use in borders, in containers, in woodland gardens, or massed as a ground cover. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4–8. Excellent Replacement for Hedera helix - English Ivy, Liriope spicata - Creeping Lily-Turf, Polygonum cuspidatum - Japanese Knotweed, and Vinca minor – Periwinkle.Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets