Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’

White bleeding heart

£9.95

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’, or White Bleeding Heart, is a captivating perennial celebrated for its distinctive heart-shaped white flowers cascading gracefully from arching stems. Flourishing in partial shade and well-draining soil, this plant blooms in spring, adding elegance to gardens.

With moderate watering and occasional fertilisation, it reaches about 1 metre in height. Its delicate appearance and charming flowers make it a beloved choice for shaded landscapes, attracting both pollinators and gardening enthusiasts.

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Origin: Northeast Asia
Genus: Dicentra
Species / Cultivar: spectabilis 'Alba'
Common Name: White bleeding heart
Synonym: Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba'

Plant Biography

Originating in Asia, particularly Japan and China, Bleeding Heart was introduced to Europe and North America in the early 19th century. Carl Thunberg, a Swedish botanist, first documented it in the late 18th century during his explorations in Japan.

The plant’s scientific name, Dicentra spectabilis, reflects its appearance, with “Dicentra” derived from Greek, meaning “two-spurred,” referring to its unique flower shape. The term “spectabilis” denotes its showy, striking flowers.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Soil that drains at a slower rate due to higher organic matter content.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: High
Likely to require supplementary watering in warmer months, even once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Part Shade
Enjoys several hours of direct sunlight but may enjoy dappling or shade at midday.
Eventual Height: 0.5-1m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5-1m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Bleeding Heart thrives in partly shaded, moist, well-draining soil, avoiding harsh afternoon sun. Fertilise in early spring, and prune spent flowers and foliage for continuous blooms.

It’s a good idea to apply mulch both for moisture retention and to protect the plant from freezing temperatures.

Pair Dicentra with other shade-loving plants like hostas or ferns to create a visually appealing and complementary garden bed.

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