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Which Dicentra varieties to choose?

Posted by linnea56 z5 IL (My Page) on
Mon, May 27, 13 at 22:50

I’m looking especially for white, but also would like a clear pink in the classic large “heart” shape. I saw some blooming in a public garden that had kind of a wimpy color.

I am getting ready to go to an out of state nursery in about 2 weeks. If they are not blooming (and they might be done by then) I’m not sure how to tell, unless I know the right botanical name for the ones I want.

Also which kinds are ephemeral, vs. the ones whose foliage persists? I’m not sure which route to take. In a bed where I have a lot of hosta ephemeral would be fine. I always wonder about my Virginia Bluebells leaving a hole when they go away but then the hosta seems to fill in.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Which Dicentra varieties to choose?

I absolutely love 'Goldheart', a gold-leaved form of the common Bleedingheart. It does not seem to go summer-dormant as easily as the species.

RE: Which Dicentra varieties to choose?

I love D. spectabilis 'Alba' growing in my full shade bed but right from the start planned on it going dormant early in the season. It's just too absolutely gorgeous not to plant. I surrounded it with other shade-loving perennials, including Carex 'Ice Dance' & Hosta 'Krossa Regal' so there are things that conceal the dying foliage once it goes dormant. It's planted on the north side of my house and is right out there to anyone driving or walking past on the road.

It's been my experience that the thread-leaf (D. eximia) bleeding heart varieties persist & continue to bloom right into the autumn garden (altho they're noticeably smaller than D. spectabilis) whereas the species can grow quite large--my DIL has a pink one that grows to about 3' x 3' every year.

D. spectabilis is also tough as nails--I had some construction done where one was literally growing out of a concrete stairway in full sun for years and, lo & behold, discovered it growing & blooming fully 15 ft away at the top of the stairway this spring.

RE: Which Dicentra varieties to choose?

'Gold Heart' and 'Valentine' are superior to all others in my opinion.

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