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Dicentra specabilis the 'Bleeding Heart Plant.

Bleeding Heart Plant Dicentra

One of the 'must have' plants for semis shade or a woodland garden is Dicentra spectabilis the 'Bleeding heart dicentra', a very showy perennial for moist areas in part shade. And yes you will also find it under the name Lamprocapnos spectabilis as it is another plant that has recently been reclassified.

With attractive ferny foliage from spring through summer, and spectacular flowers, these woodland plants will grow well in cooler climates. They are well suited to USDA zones 3 - 9.

Clump forming and spreading by underground rhizomes they can be grown in morning sun with afternoon shade. In very deep shade you may find that flowering is limited.

Most species will reach around 12" to 16" tall and with the arching flowers stems and pink and white flowers dangling beneath they put on a great display in the garden.

Dicentra spectabilis problems

Generally problems fall into three categories

  • Not Flowering
    Often due to to deep shade and sometimes due to over fertilization
  • Snail and Slug Damage.
    The new shoots can be decimated by snails and slugs, even causing the plant to die.
  • Dry soil
    If the soil dries out to much Dicentra find it difficult to keep going.


Although Dicentra are best known is Dicentra Spectabilis, other dicentras including white species are also available.

  • Look for the red flowering Dicentra spectabilis Valentine.
  • Dicentra cucullaria.
  • Dicentra formosa.
  • Dicentra eximia.
  • Dicentra alba.
  • The hybrid Dicentra 'Luxuriant'

Dicentra Plants are available for sale from the following selected Plant Nurseries.

Offering a wide selection of bulbs, perennials, grasses, herbs trees and shrubs.