Broom Knotweed (Persicaria Scoparium), A False Horsetail

The broomstick (Persicaria scoparium syn. Persicaria equisetiformis) is a very hardy rhizomatous perennial (-15° C) that looks very much like an horsetail with the big difference that horsetail does not bloom. It comes from the temporarily wet areas of Corsica and Sardinia, that is to say, areas a little marshy that receive snow melt, for example.

broom knotweed (Persicaria scoparium equisetiformis)

It forms a tuft of persistent, olive-green, cylindrical, slender, smooth, and stiff stems, marked with black-ringed nodes, all along their height which can reach 70 to 80 cm.

In its region of origin, the plant flowers in April-May then in September, but elsewhere, it blooms from June to September: it then covers, all along the stems, from tiny white flowers to pale pink, in star, perfumed, which tend to make the port of the knotweed a little less rigid; the stems can lie down. When in bloom, it looks a bit like broom (Cytisus scoparius).

In addition to needing fresh soil during growth, it also tolerates summer dry spells very well and does not become invasive like other species of knotweed (Polygonum). It finds its place in Mediterranean gardens and seaside gardens, sometimes difficult to plant. It is a plant that would benefit from being better known!

  • Family: Polygonaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: Sardinia, Corsica
  • Color: white flowers, pale pink
  • Sowing: no
  • Cutting: yes
  • Planting: spring or autumn
  • Flowering: April-May then September
  • Height: 70 to 80 cm

Ideal soil and exposure for broomweed

Broomweed is grown in the sun in ordinary, rich, cool, well-drained soils that can be soggy or limestone.

Date of division, cutting and planting of broomweed

Broomweed can be divided, but stem cuttings in the water are very successful and have fast roots. Do this in the spring (February to April) or in the fall (September to November) which are the planting periods.

Board of maintenance and culture of the broom knotweed

The broomstick must be well watered after planting and during the growing and flowering period. During the summer, it supports drought.

It does not require any particular maintenance except for some compost additions. It is recommended to fold it at the end of winter (March) every 3 years so that it retains a nice structure.

Diseases, pests and parasites of broomweed

It is not susceptible to any attack of pests or diseases.

broom knotweed (Persicaria scoparium equisetiformis)

Location and favorable association of broomweed

It is a plant grown at the edge of the pond, on the top of a rock wall, or in perennial massif installed in a fresh soil of the garden to enjoy the graphic side of the broom knuckle.

There are nearly 80 species of the genus Persicaria, of which many species were formerly classified in the genus Polygonum. In addition to broomweed (Persicaria scoparium syn. Persicaria equisetiformis), mention the bistort knotweed (Persicaria bistorta), with ribbed leaves and flowers in pink cylindrical spikes, the amplexicaulic persicaria (Persicaria amplexicaulis) with large, heart-shaped leaves and spikes of flowers in bright red to purple or white bells...

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