|Showy Bleeding Heart|
|Light requirements:||Light to medium shade|
|Water requirements:||Keep soil moist but not wet|
|Soil requirements:||Rich, deep, organic soils|
|USDA Hardiness Zone:||3-9|
|Forcing:||Can be forced|
|Pest issues:||Slugs can be a problem on young foliage|
|Disease issues:||Rare, but serious when present|
|Bloom season:||Mid spring to early summer|
Dicentra spectabilis also known as Venus's car, bleeding heart, or lyre flower, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to eastern Asia from Siberia south to Japan.
This species of bleeding heart can grow to 60-140 cm tall and has pinnately compound leaves with ternately compound leaflets (leaflets that come in threes). The flowers are pendulous, shaped much like hearts, produced in a raceme bearing 3-15 individual flowers, each one 2-3 cm long, with pink outer petals and white inner petals. The flowering season is from early spring to mid summer.
It can be a full sun plant if in a cool area but in a warm climate, prefers semi-shaded areas. It needs to be kept moist and prefers neutral to alkaline soil with good drainage although these plants can tolerate heavy clay soil as well.
Several cultivars have been selected, including 'Alba', with pure white flowers, and 'Goldheart', a relatively new cultivar developed at Hadspen Garden in England and introduced in 1997 with fuchsia-coloured flowers that drop from the stem in a row, and yellow foliage that turns lime green by mid summer.
It is a popular ornamental plant for flower gardens in temperate climates, and is also used as a cut flower.
Cut down foliage after it has gone completely yellow.
Propagation is by sowing the seeds when fresh. It can also be divided, preferably in the late fall or early spring. However, contact with the plant can cause skin irritation because the entire plant is toxic, so should be handled with gloves and long sleeves.
Pests and diseases
See Dicentra for a list of pests and diseases.
|Wikiversity is collecting bloom time data for Dicentra spectabilis on the Bloom Clock|