Dicentra spectabilis, or Bleeding Heart, is a captivating perennial celebrated for its distinctive heart-shaped pink and 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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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.
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.