Dicentra and Dielytra – Bleeding Heart, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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Perennial Flower Information

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Dicentra and Dielytra – Bleeding
Heart, Squirrel’s Corn, Dutchman’s Breeches

The grace. of the Dicentras
charms us whether in the woods or the garden.

The Bleeding Heart, Dicentra
(Dielytra) spectabilis is
one of our most showy
old-fashioned flowers which everyone loves. It grows
from 2 feet to 4 feet tall and spreads out almost the
same distance. The leaves, which are a light, transparent
green, are very neat, exceedingly graceful and very
fern-like. The flowers are heart-shaped, varying from
a light pink to a rosy-crimson in color, and are produced
in sprays along the stems. Have you ever taken one of
these flowers apart to discover many interesting things-the
two rabbits,’ a harp, grandpa’s glasses and a bottle
? The Bleeding Ileart is closely related to many of
our daintiest woodland flowers. The Squirrel’s Corn
(D. canadensis) has small tubers resembling a
kernel of Corn, the white flowers tipped with rose.
The Dutchman’s Breeches (D. Cucullaria) has white
flowers tipped with creamy yellow, the flowers closely
resembling their namesake. Both of these sorts are natives.
The Plumy Bleeding Heart (D. eximia) is said
to have the handsomest foliage of any border plant.
Its flowers are rosy-pink and it is in bloom from May
through August. It grows 9 to N inches tall and is a
most worthy plant. The other Dicentras bloom earlier
in April, May and June. The Golden Ear-drops (D.
chrysantha)
has golden yellow flowers, but is not
so well known as the other native ones.

UTILIZE. The Bleeding Heart
is fine for the border or margins of shrubbery. It is
also grown as a pot plant and it forces so well that
it is useful as a window plant. The native or woodland
species naturalize beautifully along woodland walks,
in the rock garden or in beds of ferns.

GENERAL. As soon as the flowers
of the Dicentras have finished blooming, the foliage
dies down. This makes it difficult. to keep track of
the various sorts unless they are in locations not easily
forgotten. They are very easy of culture, doing well
in either shady or sunny positions, although they are
more at home in the shade. They like a rich, light soil.

PROPAGATION. They are propagated
from seeds, division of the roots, or from young shoots
which start from the soil in early Spring. These shoots
or the roots should be divided just before they start
growth.

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