Bleeding Hearts

I’m sharing this beautiful flower with you because I learned something new about this spring time treasure. It is Lamprocapnos spectabilis (formerly known as Dicentra spectabilis), an old-fashioned bleeding-heart. I was calling it by the old name. Who knew?

Lamprocapnos spectabilis

It is a rhizomatous perennial that prefers shade. I’ve never had a good place to grow them, but they are a springtime standout. My most recent sightings, in the springs gardens at Eureka Springs AR, in Branson at the Showboat Branson Belle and, Most recently, at the Vaile Mansion in Independence MO.

The Vaile Mansion has this David McCullough, quote from his book TRUMAN. On page 51, McCullough describes the Vaile:

Bleeding Heart thrives in the shade of Vaile Mansion

“The Vaile house on North Liberty, the showiest house in Independence, was a towering stone-trimmed, red brick Victorian wedding cake, with thirty-one rooms and Carrara marble fireplaces. The Vaile stable had mahogany paneled stalls. There was a greenhouse and four full time gardeners. If Harvey Vaile, who made his money in “pure water” and contract mail delivery, was not the richest man in town, he certainly lived as though he were.”

I think Bleeding Hearts look fussy and well suited to Victorian decor, as is the Vaile Mansion, the Branson Belle, and the whole of Eureka Springs.

If you have a shady spot, give it a try. They are not as delicate as you might think. If yours goes dormant and dissappears in the summer, plant hosta near by to fill the gap in your shade garden.

A rhizomatous perennial that prefers light shade

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