Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Valentine'
bleeding heart syn Dicentra Valentine
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, humus-rich, preferably neutral to slightly alkaline
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: April to May
- Hardiness: fully hardy
First introduced onto the market in the USA last autumn, this new cultivar has become an instant sucess. In early spring the vigorous, plum-coloured shoots push through the soil, producing delicate ferny foliage that matures to a glorious, dark grey-green. This is closely followed by arching stems that carry elegant, scarlet-red, heart shaped flowers. It is one of the earliest perennials into flower, but the foliage does start to die back after flowering, so it is best mixed amongst summer flowers, which can then maintain interest in the border.
Originally dicentras were found growing in the northern hemisphere, from Asia to North America. In their natural habitat they are found in moist soils in the cool margins of woodlands.
- Garden care: Dicentras are happy in any good garden soil that is fertile but not too heavy. Enrich the soil with plenty of leaf mould before planting and apply a mulch in autumn too. A light fertilising in March will help enormously.