Dicentra spectabilis


Bleeding Heart, Dutchman’s Breeches or the Lyre Flower and now, more properly, Lamprocapnos. Beautiful spring perennials with pendant heart-shaped flowers, in pink, white, purple or red held on arching, fleshy stems. Brittle too. Growing over a metre tall. The white form, alba, is more robust, producing flowers until midsummer.


A relatively new variety, Valentine, first introduced onto the market in the USA last autumn, has become an instant success. In early spring the vigorous, plum-coloured shoots push through the soil, producing delicate ferny foliage that matures to a glorious, dark grey-green. This is closely followed by arching stems that carry elegant, scarlet-red, heart-shaped flowers. Now then. I culled this text from the Crocus website… I saw an example at the RHS London Show today and a meagre specimen it was too (and presumably the best they had in flower).

Good deep colour but small flowers on a lilliputian arch. It is admittedly a more compact grower and perhaps I am judging too harshly from this one plant.

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