One of the first plants I was ever cognisant of as a child was the low groundcover Persicaria capitata (ht 15 cm), which hails from the Himalayas and has bright green foliage with distinctive purplish V-shaped markings. It seemed to be always sporting its strange, pink, bobbled flowers. This can spread quite widely - as it did in my childhood garden, stealthily spreading alongside paths and cascading over walls - and its width is given in one of my books as being 'indefinite', but it is a useful plant for any spot where you need the soil covered, whether in sun or shade, no matter how dry the soil. At times, the leaves take on an overall purple tinge, which is a useful contrast. Persicaria belong to the family Polygonaceae, and the genus used to be called Polygonum.