Persicaria amplexicaulis Alba
Persicaria amplexicaulis Alba is not the in your face star of the show but holds a supporting role within your garden, where it quietly adds its long flowering white spikes to your border with great refinement. Not all plants can be the stars or else the garden would end up being a sensory overload, and we need plants to act as a foil, at this role P.Alba excels. I would not be without it in my garden.
On close inspection, Alba is an interesting plant. Large lance-like mid green leaves are clumped and spread out roughly a metre, at the base of these clumps tall red stems rise reaching up to 1.2m. The stems have nodes up them from which tapered leaves emerge they are green and sometimes have a red edge which picks up on the red stem colouring. From the top of this stem arises a long narrow spike that carries clusters of bell-shaped white flowers which have a pale pink cast, from mid-summer into autumn.
There are many uses for Alba, it makes an excellent foil for other plants and the red on the stems can be used to pick up that colouring on other plants. Its white spikes and tall stems add that upright dimension, and yet it is a lovely 'see-through' plant, so despite its height will not block your view. The flowers are very useful for cut flower arrangements.
P. Alba grows best in moister soils in full sun or partial shade.It will grow in drier conditions if in partial shade.