August 16, 2017

Pudding, Anyone?

Persicaria bistorta - bistort

Janine Pineo Photo | Persicaria bistorta – bistort

Persicaria bistorta - bistort

Janine Pineo Photo | Persicaria bistorta – bistort

One doesn’t usually look at a plant and think pudding, but Persicaria bistorta fuels those thoughts in the north of England where it is a key ingredient in dock pudding, a delicacy found in Yorkshire. English puddings are not quite like the sweet confections here in the United States; they are more savory. Dock pudding is made of bistort, oatmeal, nettles and onion, the basic ingredients. If you don’t want to eat bistort, then you can grow it for its pink flower spikes and lush leaves. The perennial prefers part shade and a steady stream of moisture or it will go dormant in dry conditions. It is often recommended for bog gardens. Hardy to Zone 3, it can reach up to 3 feet in height with a spread of 2 feet. This European native has a variety of names, including pudding grass, pink pokers, Easter ledges (also a name for dock pudding), and dragonwort. As for the bistorta moniker, it is the Latin reference to its twisted roots.