Dicentra 'Adrian Bloom'
Common Name: bleeding heart
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Papaveraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to July
Bloom Description: Crimson-rose
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. Prefers rich, fertile, humusy, consistently moist soils. Soils must not be allowed to dry out during summer. Intolerant of wet soils in winter. Promptly remove spent flowering stems to promote additional bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dicentra is a genus of 20 or more species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants which are native to moist woodland areas in Asia and North America. Plants feature pendant, two-spurred, heart-shaped flowers atop mounds of deeply dissected leaves.

A number of cultivars have been produced in recent years which are hybrid crosses between D. peregrine (native to alpine areas of China and eastern Siberia) and D. eximea (native to woodland areas of eastern North America) in which the goal was to produce a dicentra with a compact and robust habit, long flowering period, blue-gray foliage and quality flower colors.

Genus name comes from the Greek words dis meaning twice and kentron meaning a spur for the two-spurred flowers.

Flowers in the genus Dicentra are commonly called bleeding heart because protruding inner petals, more obvious in some species than others, purportedly appear to form a drop of blood at the bottom of each heart-shaped flower.

‘Adrian Bloom’ is a compact bleeding heart cultivar of uncertain parentage that typically grows to 10-12” tall. It features deeply-cut, fern-like, grayish-green leaves that persists throughout the growing season and nodding, heart-shaped, rich crimson-rose flowers that are carried above the foliage on long, leafless, leaning stems. Bloom begins in late spring and continues throughout the summer, however in the hotter summer climates, the flowering may slow considerably or stop in extremely hot weather, with a possible rebloom occurring when the weather cools in late summer or early fall. Protruding inner petals purportedly appear to form a drop of blood at the bottom of each heart-shaped flower, hence the common name of bleeding heart. Given adequate moisture, the foliage remains attractive in summer, and may produce an attractive ground cover effect. ‘Adrian Bloom’ is sometime sold as a cultivar of D. formosa (native to western U.S.).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to aphid infestations. Powdery mildew, downy mildew, verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt and rust may occur. Good soil drainage is essential for plant survival. Slugs and snails may attack new growth.

Garden Uses

Mass, group or specimen in woodland gardens or shaded areas borders and rock gardens. Foliage can be quite attractive when flowers are not in bloom.