Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’

Dicentra / Lamprocapnos

Bleeding heart

  • Position: partial shade
  • Soil: moist, humus-rich soil
  • Flowering period: April to June
  • Height: 40-70cm
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Hardiness: fully hardy


Dicentra spectabilis

Dicentra spectabilis is a fantastic perennial with divided mid-green leaves and heart-shaped, rosy-pink flowers with white tips on arching stems which appear in late spring. This bleeding heart reaches a height of 70cm and a spread of 45cm.

Good to know. This dicentra and other dicentra spectabilis varieties have been renamed Lamprocapnos spectabilis.

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Valentine’

There is also a red version. Dicentra spectabilis ‘Valentine’ bears lovely scarlet-red, heart-shaped flowers with white tips on striking burgundy, arching stems. Similar in height tot Dicentra spectabilis.

Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’

Those who want white flowers try Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’. This variety produces arching sprays of snowy-white, heart-shaped flowers. It has mid-green, fern-like foliage. It’s a fantastic choice for brightening up a shady spot in the garden.

Dicentra spectabilis                                                 Dryopteris filix mas

Dicentra formosa ‘Bacchanal’

Dicentra formosa ‘Bacchanal’ is slightly different with striking wine-red flowers, appearing on slender stems above grey-green fern-like foliage. If flowers over a long period from late spring to early summer. It grows to a height of 45-50cm.


When and how to prune Dicentra spectabilis or Lamprocapnos (Bleeding heart). After flowering, the foliage will turn yellow. Cut back the ugly and yellow foliage.

Then it will often produce new fresh foliage but the plant will not produce a second flush of flowers.

How to grow bleeding hearts

Bleeding hearts grow best in moist, humus-rich soil. Add compost or leaf mould to the soil before planting.

All sorts of bleeding hearts prefer partial shade but will tolerate full sun if the soil is not too dry.

Do bleeding hearts come back every year. The plant will die down in late summer. New fresh growth will appear again in spring.

Plant combination

Dicentra spectabilis looks good planted with  Aquilegia, Bergenia, Epimedium, Digitalis and ferns such as Dryopteris filix mas.

Epimedium xversicolor 'Sulphureum' (Elfenbloem)
Epimedium versicolor ‘Sulphureum’