READY EARLY SUMMER. A wonderful recent selection, Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) Valentine is arguably the best of the traditional style bleeding hearts, with serried ranks of cherry red flowers tipped with white dangling on deep burgundy coloured stems above powdery grey green foliage. Easy to fall in love with. Best with some degree of shade during the day. Moist soil. 24 in. 2 litre pot.
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Rejoicing in many common names, such as bleeding hearts, lyre flower, dutchman's breeches and, indeed, lady in a bath, Dicentra Spectabilis was taken away from its friends in the genus Dicentra to become the monotypic genus Lamprocapnos, with L. Spectabilis as the sole species. Rather a lonely existence for this lovely plant. Dicentra Spectabilis is now no more than a synonym, but we, along with most other people, struggle to take on the new name.
Three things we particularly like about Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) Valentine: firstly, the cherry red clour of the dangling heart flowers, outlined cleanly in white, secondly, the deep burgundy red colouration of the arching fleshy stems, and thirdly, its compact form which keeps it nice and bushy.
It's worth being aware that Valentine, like other forms of Dicentra Spectabilis, has a tendency to go summer dormant once the main flowering season, which lasts from early spring (depending on the weather) into summer, is over. So if your plant dies back and disappears, it's not a cause for concern: it will come back the following spring. A position with some shade and moisture retentive soil may go some way to preventing this.
Cut back stems as required once flowering is finished and remove old plant material in late autumn when it has died back.
Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) Spectabilis Valentine is a hardy perennial with arching red stems and hanging red heart shaped flowers suitable for sun or semi-shade.