20 Jul

Unusual Flowering Plant: Dicentra, Bleeding Hearts

Dicentra Spectabilis (now known as Lamprocapnos Spectabilis) or Bleeding Hearts is a perennial plant known for its ornamental and unusual flowers. As the name suggests, most species of Dicentra produce heart-shaped flowers. Petals on these unusual flowers are curved and spurred to give them the shape of bleeding hearts. These herbaceous perennials are native to North America and parts of Asia.

Dicentra Spectabilis grows up to 60 cm and bear rosy red and white flowers in spring that hang on long leafless stalks. Flowers last for several weeks when spring is cool.

Dicentra Spectabilis, Bleeding Hearts

Dicentra Spectabilis – image from Wikipedia.org

How to Grow Dicentra Spectabilis / Bleeding Hearts

Almost all species of Dicentra are grown in semi-shade. Bleeding Hearts require rich, loose and well-drained soil, and protection from frost and high winds. Propagation can be done by seeds, cuttings or divisions. Seeds can be sown in fall so that they get enough freezing spells, which is required for successful germination. Do not leave young plants dry and thirsty especially in warmer weather; a bit moist environment is perfect for Bleeding Heart plants. These plants do not require much pruning or fertilizer.

Popular Varieties of Dicentra

The name ‘bleeding heart’ is specially associated with Dicentra Spectabilis. Other popular species include: Dicentra Cucullaria (Dutchman’s breeches), Dicentra Canadensis (Squirrel Corn), and several hybrids and cultivars.

Flowers of Bleeding Heart may cause skin irritation.