Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dicentra. Bleeding Hearts

Dicentras a lot of new names have been given to the Dicentra's and we will include their new names as well as their old names. They are interesting plants with bulbils, rhizome roots and horizontal rhizome root systems. A relatively easy group of plants to grow that you will have to hunt around to find, but they are available.


Dicentra cucullaria common name Dutchman's breeches, it is found in the northeastern and western United States. The rice sized pink bulbils all cluster together making the size of a Au.10cent piece and are easily removed when repotting, coming up in every other plant potted up at the same time. They are fine growing in the rock garden in a semi shaded position, I also grow them in terracotta pots. Finely pinnate grey leaves. My bulbs came from Marcus Harvey.


One of my favourite Dicentra's, Dicentra 'King of Hearts' imported by Devon Tubestock as Tissue culture approx. 12 years ago. My plant has since gone to heaven as it did not like our warm hot weather, but an absolutely beautiful plant, if I could ever get it again I would plant in more peat. Bluish, grey-green leaves with large pink locket flowers, a complex hybrid of Dicentra peregrina x Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana and Dicentra eximia created by Marion Ownbey of Washington State.



Dicentra 'Burning Heart' a new hybrid available oversea's, I don't think this is available in Australia beautiful isn't it. (Picture from the internet)


 Dicentra formosa Alba native to western North America, a very hardy woodland plant, making large clumps by horizontal rhizome growth and green leaves. The D. formosa look fragile but are very drought resistant as long as they have shade and plenty of leaf mulch they will be fine. This plant was bought from the Friends of Tindale Gardens.


Dicentra formosa another easy species from the same area as above, needing exactly the same growing conditions, very hardy as well with green leaves. Denis Norgate's Plant farm via my mother who grew it very well. The Dicentra formosa flower over a very long period of time, almost 8 months of the year, but put on their best display in Spring.


Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana with white flowers with the slightest touch of colour to their lockets and silver foliage. Endemic from a small area southern Oregon and northern California in the Siskiyou Mountains, it grows alongside another endemic plant that we grow in Australia Vancouveria chrysantha.


Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana with pink flowers and silver leaves, it probably has a hybrid name but has been lost over the years. From Grace and Bill Maxwell's garden in Monbulk, Victoria. Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana are long lived plants both the pink and white forms.



Dicentra 'Stuart Boothman' (above) imported by one of our founding members Felice Blake, a hybrid cultivar of Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana and Dicentra eximia. The leaves are grey-green and finely cut with dark pink flowers. Well drained position with a little more sun than most Dicentra's, Craige at  Gentiana Nursery has this one.


Dicentra  formosa 'Bacchanal' another readily available Dicentra with particularly deep red flowers and bluish-green leaves.


Lamprocapnos spectabilis syn. Dicentra spectabilis alba has been grown by the Chinese and Japanese gardeners long before if was grown by Western Gardeners. Our son propagates many of the bleeding hearts from tissue culture as it seems a much easier way than from seed raising. They like to grow in a moist semi shaded position with a feed of fertiliser in the early spring, liquid fertiliser is a good way to go or chicken manure pellets spread sparingly around the plant. they reach approx. a metre when they are happy.



Lamprocapnos specabilis syn. Dicentra spectabilis


Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Valentine' syn Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine" introduced into Australia by Antique Perennials, dark red and white hearts.



Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Gold Heart' syn. Dicentra spectabilis 'Gold Heart' introduced into Australia by Devon Tubestock Nursery at the same time as Dicentra 'King of Hearts' a beautiful golden foliaged Dicentra that fades a little towards the end of its season, and needs protection from hot afternoon sun.
A cool moist position for all the D. spectabilis.




Ichtyoselmis macrantha syn. Dicentra macrantha native to Burma and western China. I struggle with this Dicentra I do not think I keep it moist enough. A dear friend Phyll used to grow it beautifully in Mt Dandenong along the edge of an old log and I think that protected its roots and kept them cool. You will just have to keep your eyes open for this one as it is rarely available and very different.


Dactylicapnos macrocapnos syn Dicentra macrocapnos climbing Dicentra that I grow on a wire fence, that allows the sun to shine through the flowers in the late afternoon, in my old garden I grew it over my glasshouse and it would come through the windows, a lovely plant with golden lockets. It is often confused with Dactylicapnos scandens,  Dicentra scandens which has purple bullet shaped seed pods.
Dicentra macrocapnos has green seed pods that spring open as soon as you touch them. From Asia northeastern India to Nepal. An easy one for Australian conditions, Marg grows hers in Croydon with out to much trouble in a large terracotta pot. Available from the seed exchanges.

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