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Commonly known as the 'Bleeding Heart', 'Lady in the Bath' or 'Lyre Flower', Dicentra spectabilis is a gorgeous, hardy perennial plant with arching sprays of pendulous flowers. Native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan, it is rather surprisingly related to the poppy family.
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Under favorable conditions the type species will reach a height and spread of approximately 50-75 cm. It has grey-green leaves and red-heart-shaped blooms which are borne on arching racemes in May and June. Each flower is approximately 2.5 cm long with a glistening, white protruding inner petals.
Plant Dicentra spectabilis between October and March in any well-drained garden soil which has been previously enriched with moss-peat, or a humus-rich compost such as leaf-mold. Neutral or slightly alkaline soil conditions are preferable. The tender, emerging growth is susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures and cold winds, so when planting choose a sheltered position that offers protection from spring frosts.
In cooler, wetter climates they will be happy planted in a sunny position, but will perform better shaded from the mid-day sun in warmer and drier climates
When group planting provide a distance of 50 cm between plants.
Be aware that Dicentra spectabilis has brittle roots which are easily damaged when disturbed, and that the succulent growth can be a target for snails, slugs and aphids.
For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW DICENTRA SPECTABILIS
THE LADY IN THE BATH FLOWER