Dicentra spectabilis
Garden Plant Information

Dicentra spectabilis


Dicentra spectabilis - close-up


New growth on Dicentra spectabilis


Dicentra spectabilis (also called bleeding heart and Dutchman's trousers)







General description

Herbaceous perennial with arching stems, grown for foliage and flowers in early spring and summer.

Season of interest

Attractive foliage and flowers in spring and early summer. The new growth in early spring is both attractive and a welcome sign that spring is on the way. If you are someone who, like me, sometimes feels that winter goes on forever, then Dicentra spectabilis is a good plant to grow.

Key horticultural features

  1. Habit clump forming, arching. H: 120cm S: 50cm

  2. Stems round, smooth, purple with shades of green.

  3. Leaves mid-green, deeply lobed, smooth.

  4. Flowers heart-shaped, pink with white tips, held dangling along arching stems.

Cultural details


Sun to shade, but prefers shade.


Humus-rich, moisture retentive with a cool root run.


Said to be hardy down to at least 20c.


Mulch with leaf mould or compost in autumn and feed in spring. Dislikes disturbance so try to avoid moving or dividing unless really necessary.


Division in early spring. Root cuttings are a better idea than division, as the plant resents being disturbed because of the brittle roots; roots cuttings have a better chance if the cutting has the beginning of a bud already showing.