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Dicentra spectabilis

Dicentra spectabilis
bleeding heart

Common name bleeding heart
Family fumariaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers pink/white (spring)
Size 2-3'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes well-drained garden soil, not too dry

No garden would be complete without at least one old-fashioned bleeding heart. We have just a few, and look forward to their return every year. From the earliest emerging foliage to the splendor of the mid-spring blooms, they brighten up the spring garden. By mid-summer, the plants go into dormancy, their places in the garden taken up by bolder neighbors.
More recently I acquired a new specimen, a variety named 'Valentine'. Its flowers are closer to a true red, which makes for a dramatic contrast with the white "drops", and its leaves, at least when they emerge in spring, are darker with a reddish tinge as well. The plant stays somewhat smaller than the plain species. It has survived several seasons in our garden, and I'm quite pleased with it.

Dicentra spectabilis
bleeding heart
Dicentra spectabilis
'Valentine's new growth in late April

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

About my plant portraits

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Last modified: May 21, 2014
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