Alright, we're in the peak of bulb season now. Easter has passed, Tulips have started blooming, and the tree canapé is slowly filling in. Why more people don't have this show stopper in their garden is a mystery to me. Dicentra species all have the common name Bleeding Hearts. The one photoed above is Dicentra spectabilis which I'm correcting from earlier.
They started coming up way back around the time when Bloodroot started flowering. It's almost like a fleshy cabbage then but eventually thins itself out to be more fern-like.
Early on the plant and flowers look a little scraggly. This softness is a welcome change to the bulb garden. Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths all have those stiff grassy leaves and look pretty much the same. Plants like bleeding heart help break this up. Of course there are later flowering alternatives you could go with.
Early on the heart shaped flowers aren't that spectacular, but this is still different than the unopened green flower buds you get on Tulips around the same time.
The color to these pink/red flowers I think is the perfect complement to grape hyacinth. It's a shame I didn't plant them close enough to get a decent picture. But you can see the colors sort of play off one another.
When asked why more gardeners don't plant this beautiful native in their spring garden, one flower was quoted as saying...