I hope you like the Bleeding Heart wallpaper on my site. It reflects the fact that I hold the national dicentra collection. This is not as grand as it sounds. Thirty years ago when the new National Society of Garden Plants, as it was then called, looked for volunteers, they were not as fussy as they are now. I protested to a colleague that I knew nothing about dicentras. He replied, ‘If you get the collection you will’.
It's not dicentra time now, for the most popular varieties, but I would like to whet your appetite with a few favourites.
Dicentra formosa oregona ‘Pearl Drops’
Dicentra formosa oregona ‘Pearl Drops’ has a long flowering season and lovely glaucus foliage. It is sometimes sold as 'Langtrees’ - frankly, I cannot tell the difference and believe there is none.
Dicentra formosa alba
Dicentra formosa alba comes true from seed (of course white varieties with cultivar names do not). In practice if you sow it's seed, you will normally get some that come up coloured - throw them away.
This white variety is frequently offered in the trade as Dicentra eximia alba. This is wrong. I know no one who has it in the UK. Dicentra eximia (not alba) is offered by seedsmen such as Chilterns and comes true. If any U.S. follower can let me have spare seed of the true eximia alba, I would be very grateful.
Dicentra formosa is very promiscuous and many of my seedlings have no name.