DICENTRA or BLEEDING HEART

P. An indispensable plant for the herbaceous border, provided it can be given a cool root run. Tolerates a little shade. On thin, dry soils, dicentras only flower sparsely. The soil should be dug deeply and plenty of humus-forming material such as compost, peat or leaf mould mixed with both top and bottom spits. Dicentra spectabilis grows to about 2 ½ ft. wide light, green, deeply-cut foliage and arching sprays of red and white flowers from late April to June. This species is also known as Dutchman’s breeches and lady-in-the-bath. D. Bountiful has a longer flowering period (May to September) with more glaucous leaves and rosy-red blooms. It is a shorter grower, reaching about 15 in. Both the above are increased by division in early October or late February.

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