Name this plant! Mountain fleece

(Question)

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Just wondering if you folks know what plant this is? Is it native or invasive?

(Answer)

This had me stumped, so I asked other master gardeners to help identify your plant.  It is most likely Persicaria amplexicaulis, commonly called the red bistort or mountain fleece.  Here is a link to a photo of a variety that looks very much like your plant – from the Royal Horticultural Society, Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’.  The Missouri Botanical Garden has more detailed information on the plant.  It is a perennial that will spread steadily, but is not considered invasive.

To illustrate how challenging it can be to identify plants from a photo, consider the following, which were also suggested as being possibilities.  Some of these belong to the same genus as your plant, Persicaria, so indeed are related!):

So you see that identifying a plant is often quite challenging, and this is complicated by the fact that sometimes a few plants may have the same common name, and that different members of a genus (i.e., Persicaria, which has 66 “accepted” species names, many of which are commonly called “knotweed”) can look so similar, although they may have very different characteristics (e.g., invasive versus not).

Finally – you have a lovely, non-invasive perennial in your garden.  It is not a native plant in Ontario.