Floral Focus: Bleeding heart.

 

 

Bleeding Heart flowerΒ 

Bleeding Heart flower

 

Bleeding heart flower

 

Bleeding heart flower

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! Β 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…

 

 

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16 Responses to Floral Focus: Bleeding heart.

  1. I’ve been trying to grow the ‘Alba’ for a while now with no success. Have just moved it to cooler, shadier spot in the hope that it finally takes off.
    Victoria Wildman recently posted…Squash and BeansMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! Mine has always been somewhere relatively shady, now I think about it.

  2. Ooo beautiful ! *adds to wish list*
    Mammasaurus recently posted…A happy funeralMy Profile

  3. Amanda says:

    I saw bleeding hearts for the first time a few weeks ago, absolutely stunning flowers, never knew they came in white, beautiful!
    Amanda recently posted…How Does Your Garden GrownMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      They’re lovely and delicate in the white – I really loved them in the ‘white garden’ in Ripon. Just gorgeous against a green backdrop.

  4. I’d never seen this plant before but have noticed it on a couple of blogs this week. The white variety is really very pretty. Must make a mental note as I’m often on the look out for easy to care for plants.
    Philippa Tyrer recently posted…How does your Garden Grow? – AprilMy Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’ve found it really easy – though, as someone mentioned here, it does prefer to be out of bright sun, so if you so get one, keep it in a shadier spot! πŸ™‚

  5. Gemma says:

    I’ve never seen a bleeding heart plant before, so pretty and the flowers look a bit like trinkets. I’m adding this to my ever growing wishlist of plants πŸ™‚
    Gemma recently posted…Our garden: May 2014My Profile

    • Elizabeth says:

      They do look a bit like pendants, I can just imagine one made in silver… actually, that would be rather gorgeous! πŸ™‚

  6. Claudia says:

    these are lovely. i love bleeding hearts.
    Claudia recently posted…a garden update. a walkMy Profile

  7. Bleeding hearts sounds like a song title really.
    This is the first time that i saw this plant and it is amazing! And you are not kidding when you said oh so pretty. It is. #HDYGG
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Bristol AquariumMy Profile

  8. Katie says:

    Yet another plant that is added to my wish list. I keep forgetting that I love Bleeding Hearts and I didn’t take them when we moved from our first home. They are perfectly lovely!

  9. Ooh I love these they’re beautiful. I’ve heard about bleeding heart before but not actually seen them. What a treat πŸ™‚

  10. Charmaine says:

    what a pretty plant, such delicate little flowers x
    Charmaine recently posted…the gibberd garden, harlowMy Profile

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