This magnificent shade loving perennial is an excellent addition to any garden.
Dicentra spectabilis, more commonly known as bleeding heart is a shade loving perennial native to Japan. This specie can grow up to 36 inches tall with its green fern-like ternate leaves (having three leaflets projecting from the same point). It produces 3-15 individual heart-shaped dangling flowers with pink outer petals and white inner petals. The name comes from the appearance of the pink flowers which resemble the shape of a heart with the inner petal looking like a descending drop of blood.
The plant delights in cool, moist conditions. Flowering season is from early spring through summer in cool areas. This popular ornamental plant for flower gardens in temperate climates is also used as a cut flower. It grows best in partial shady areas with humus rich and moist but well-drained soil in warm climates and under full sun in cool areas. Possible problems include aphids and snail pestation which cause damage to the leaves, too much moisture can also cause crown rot.
Bleeding hearts can be difficult to germinate from seeds; propagation can best be done by dividing the well established plant. Some words of caution: this easy to grow plant has alkaloids which can cause skin irritation in some people.
The gorgeous, small heart-shaped blooms come in shades of yellow, red, pink and white. Other names include: Venus’ car, Dutchman’s trousers and lyre flower.
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