Clumping perennial dying down each year, mostly to about 70 cm or more tall. Leaves about 9-22 cm long, 5-8 cm wide, elliptic to oblanceolate with dark markings on the upper surface. Ocreas with a fringe of hairs. Flowers in open narrow spikes. Perianth segments becoming red; summer to autumn. [Antenoron virginianum (L.) Roberty & Vautier, Tovara filiforme Thunb., Tovara virginiana Raf., Polygonum virginianum var. filiforme (Thunb.) Merrill, Persicaria virginiana (L.) Gaertn.]
Japan, Himalaya, North America
Asian and North American plants have long been considered separate species but are now generally placed together.
The usual form with dark markings on the leaves is treated in European texts as the cultivar 'Painter's Palette'.
Source: (1997). Polygonaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.