BLEEDING HEART

FAMILY: Papaveraceae | GENUS: DICENTRA

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

Graceful, fernlike foliage. Leafless stems carry dainty, pendent flowers, usually heart shaped and to 1 in. long, in pink, rose, yellow, or white. Combine handsomely with ferns, hostas, astilbes, epimediums, foam- flowers (Tiarella), hellebores. In general, they need rich, light, moist, porous soil. Never let water stand around roots.

D. canadensis. SQUIRREL CORN. Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7. Native from North Carolina to Missouri, Minnesota, and Canada. Reaches just 68 in. tall and wide, growing from small tubers resembling ears of corn. White, perfectly heart-shaped flowers in early spring. Foliage dies back after flowering. Locate in ground cover or other area where shallow-growing tubers will not be disturbed. Prefers slightly alkaline soil.

D. eximia. FRINGED BLEED- ING HEART. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to northeastern U.S. Forms tidy clump 11 ft. high and wide. Blue-gray basal leaves are more finely divided than those of D. formosa. Big, deep rose-pink flowers with short, rounded spurs bloom from midspring into summer. Cut back for second growth and occasional repeat bloom. Self-sows.

D. formosa. WESTERN BLEEDING HEART. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to moist woods along Pacific Coast. To 1 ft. tall, 3 ft. or wider. Blue-green foliage. Blooms in spring, bearing clusters of pendulous pale or deep rose flowers on reddish stems. Spreads freely by rhizomes and seeding, forming large colonies. 'Zestful' is everblooming, with deep rose flowers. D. f. oregana grows to 1 ft. tall, has silvery green leaves and cream-colored flowers that are tipped with purple.

D. hybrids. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. D. eximia and D. formosa cross freely to yield hybrids, many of which have been named. The following are among the most commonly cultivated; they grow 11 ft. high and 12 ft. across (eventually spreading more widely) and bloom from spring into summer.

'Bacchanal'. Finely cut gray-green leaves and dark red flowers.

'Bountiful'. Dark blue-green foliage and purplish pink to dusky red flowers.

'Burning Hearts'. Compact with blue-gray foliage. Rose-red flowers lined with white.

'King of Hearts'. Lacy blue-green leaves and big flowers in deep pink.

'Luxuriant'. Medium to dark green leaves and red flowers.

Dicentra scandens. See Dactylicapnos scandens.

Dicentra spectabilis. See Lamprocapnos spectabilis.

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