Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bleeding Hearts

The Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is my favorite old-fashioned garden flower. This plant is near 3 feet across and has been blooming in a shady corner beside my screen porch for at least 20 years. Each year it seems to grow wider and bloom more heavily. Bleeding Hearts like shade and moisture - mine gets morning sun and plenty of rain water from the downspout beside the porch. In cooler climates, the foliage will stay nice through the summer, but here in NJ the heat and humidity yellows it by the beginning of July when I'll cut it back. I've read that the flowers are favored by hummingbirds, but I don't see them here reliably until July when my plant is past its prime. The plant's wild relatives, also Dicentras, are called Dutchman's Breeches and have a less showy, but similarly heart-shaped flower.


Susan Gets Native said...

I LOVE Bleeding Hearts...and they're native! (A rather important issue to me!)

Endment said...

I have a number of plants that we put in about four years ago... not a one is real doing anything more than poking a leaf or two above the surface of the ground. These are beautiful... Love them