A Wildflower Favorite – The Bleeding Heart

Call them Bleeding Hearts, Lady in a Bath, Dutchman’s Trousers, Venus’s Car, Lyre Flower, but at the end of the day this has to one of the most loved wildflowers around. While cultivars for the garden have produced larger flowers and included white in them, I still love them as they come in the wild. They are blooming right now in the Columbia Gorge.

Its Latin name used to be Dicentra formosa, but I was disappointed to learn when putting this blog together that they have officially changed its name to Lamprocapnos. Whatever… Most of the ones that you see for the garden are Dicentra Spectabilis, which is a native of Japan and can grow 2 to 3 feet tall and have the larger blooms.

They are a shade loving plant and when thinking about their natural habitat, like a humus rich soil. Normally the leaves die off after the flowers have finished and the plant goes dormant under dry and hot condition but given lots of water they will keep their leaves throughout the summer.  They are great paired with Hostas as the contrast between the leaves is great and if the leaves do die back saves having hole in the garden. Another great feature is they are deer resistant.

They are long lasting perennials that spread by seed and rhizomes. They can be divided when the plant is dormant, but best done in early spring.

Brought to you by Brian Bailey

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