Bleeding Heart

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 Lamprocapnos spectabilis subsp. var.  Bleeding heart, Venus's car, Dutchman's trousers, lyre flower
L. spectabilis
Habit: herbaceous
Height: to
Width: to
cm4ft 18in
Height: cm to 4 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 18 in
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: Siberia, Korea, N China
Bloom: late spring, early summer
Exposure: part-sun, shade
Water: moist
Features: flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 3 to 9
Sunset Zones: 1-9, 14-24, 31-45
Flower features:
Fumariaceae > Lamprocapnos spectabilis var. ,

Dicentra spectabilis (syn. Dicentra spectabilis) also known as Venus's car, bleeding heart, Dutchman's trousers, or lyre flower, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to eastern Asia from Siberia south to Japanwp. This species of bleeding heart can grow to 24"-36" tall and has ternately compound leaves (leaflets that come in threes)wp. The flowers are pendulous, shaped much like hearts, produced in a raceme bearing 3-15 individual flowers, each one 1-2" long, with pink outer petals and white inner petals. The flowering season is from early spring to mid summerwp. The common name of this plant, bleeding heart, comes from the heart-shaped flowers which have a longer inner petal that extends below the 'heart'wp.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Lamprocapnos spectabilis (Dicentra spectabilis, Lem. Dielytra spectabilis, Don). Bleeding- Heart. Height 1-2 ft.: lvs. and lfts. broadest of the group, the ultimate segms. obovate or cuneate: fls. large, deep rosy red; corolla heart - shaped; inner petals white, protruding. Japan. Var. alba, Hort., the white-fld. form, has a weaker growth. The bleeding-heart is one of the best of flowering perennials. The bloom in spring and also the foliage are attractive. If given room and moisture, the plant will continue to be attractive as a foliage mass till late summer. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

It is a popular ornamental plant for flower gardens in temperate climates, and is also used in floristry as a cut flowerwp.

Contact with the plant can cause skin irritation from isoquinoline-like alkaloids, in some people.[1][2]


It can be a full sun plant if in a cool area but in a warm climate, prefers semi-shaded areas. It needs to be kept moist and prefers neutral to alkaline soil with good drainage although these plants can tolerate heavy clay soil as wellwp.

Easily grown in a rich light soil1. Grows best in a light but good woodland soil, preferably not limy208. Prefers light shade and some shelter from winds175. Tolerates a sunny position if it is growing in a moist border but once planted the plant should not be disturbed since the roots are brittleRH. A very ornamental plant1, it is hardy to at least -20°c187. The seed is difficult to harvest, it ripens and is shed very quickly134. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer233.


Propagation is by sowing the seeds before they dry out. It can also be divided, preferably in the late fall or early spring.

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame134. Stored seed should be sown in early spring175. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15°c175. Two weeks warm stratification at 18°c followed by six weeks at 2°c can shorten up the germination time134. Prick out the plants into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, grow them on for their first winter in a cold frame and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring. Division in early springRH. Care must be taken since the plant strongly resents root disturbanceRH. Division is best carried out in late winter188. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Root cuttings 7 - 10cm long in sandy soil in a cold frameRH.

Pests and diseases

Aphids, slugs and snails sometimes feed on this species, which causes damage to the leaveswp.


Several cultivars have been selected, including 'Alba', with pure white flowers, and 'Goldheart', a relatively new cultivar developed at Hadspen Garden in England and introduced in 1997 with fuchsia-coloured flowers that drop from the stem in a row, and yellow foliage that turns lime green by mid summerwp.


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External links

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