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Authors, scientists, and poets have apparently used the name bleeding heart to describe a number of plant species. The species of plant that typically bear the name bleeding heart are actually Dicentra stellata, Dicentra cucullata, Dicentra canadensis, and Dicentra formosa. The name bleeding heart is not always a specific reference to a particular species of plant.The genus Dicentra includes plants whose flowers and leaves grow on stems directly from the roots. Species with branching stems used to be included in the genus, but have now been moved to other genera.Dicentra, genus of eight species of flowering plants of the poppy family (Papaveraceae).
Dicentra are hardy perennials and will flower for many years without dividing. If it’s necessary to move a plant, do it in early spring while the plant is still dormant. The roots of dicentra are brittle and the plants don’t like being moved. Take the time to dig a large hole and remove the entire root ball. Replant immediately and water consistently until the plant has reestablished its root system.
Plant in partial to full shade in rich well-draining moist soils. Tolerant of the deepest shade these plants resemble ferns with their deeply divided lacey leaves, but unlike ferns they flower often with two-toned heart-shaped blooms, hence the common name bleeding heart.D. spectabilis was brought to England in 1810 but didn’t get established. It was introduced again after a Royal Horticultural Society plant exploration trip to the Far East in 1846, and soon it became a common garden plant. Some other less-common common names for this plant include Chinese Pants, Lady’s Locket, Lyre Flower, Our-Lady-in-a-Boat, and Tearing Hearts. (Source:hort.extension.wisc.edu)
D. spectabilis was brought to England in 1810 but didn’t get established. It was introduced again after a Royal Horticultural Society plant exploration trip to the Far East in 1846, and soon it became a common garden plant. Some other less-common common names for this plant include Chinese Pants, Lady’s Locket, Lyre Flower, Our-Lady-in-a-Boat, and Tearing Hearts.The green to pink stems are very fleshy. The powdery-green leaves are divided into three leaflets.
Although they are attractive when not in flower, the plants usually start to senesce by August and go dormant in the summer. The leaves turn yellow and wither sooner in hotter or drier weather (but sometimes last through the season in cool, moist conditions). Cutting the plants back hard after flowering may delay senescence (as well as promote another flush of flowers). When the stems die back completely to the ground they can be pulled out and discarded.The unique 1-2 inch long, delicate-looking pendant flowers are vaguely heart-shaped. Each puffy bloom has two rose-pink outer petals and two white inner petals, with a white stamen protruding from the bottom. The pouched outer petals have strongly reflexed tips from which the inner petals protrude slightly. (Source: hort.extension.wisc.edu)