Bleeding heart is the rather unfortunate (but appropriate, once you see the flower shape) common name for Lamprocapnos spectabilis. It’s also really commonly known by its previous Latin name of Dicentra spectabilis. I’ve always just known it as Dicentra, and only realised recently that the name had been changed. Although this is for reasons of accuracy, it’s a fresh new challenge for those of us just getting to grips with horticultural Latin! The plant is native to Korea, Northen China and Japan, and I found reference to a traditional Japanese story telling of unrequited love leading to the creation of the bleeding heart flower.
Although the only one I own is a plant of the white variety, ‘Alba’, I do completely love the spectacular pink, isn’t it gorgeous? The heart shaped flower has what looks like a tiny drop of liquid underneath, hence the name. They’re a great spring flowering perennial plant which dies back by the end of summer but arrives again almost overnight each spring. I swear that you can see them growing! The one in the top photo is from my old garden, and you can see that the plant is just beginning to flower. It’s also being swamped by Lily of the Valley plants, which have spread like mad around it. The plants in the middle photos are in the white garden at Newby Hall, taken in a bit of a hurry as dusk approached. (I was at Newby Hall listening to Alistair Humphreys give a talk, as part of Ripon’s cultural festival for Le Tour De France which I’ll write about another day.)
I really recommend this plant for most gardens, as it can cope with most soils and amounts of light, although it can be a bit of an irritant to the skin, so be a bit careful. You don’t need to prune because of how how quickly it dies back and it’s pretty resistant to disease and bugs. And it’s oh so pretty…
<div align=”center”><a href=”http://mammasaurus.co.uk/category/how-does-your-garden-grow/” title=”Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://mammasaurus.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/badge2.png” alt=”Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>