The writer's bleeding heart plants are arched and blooming at present. He has the pink and the wonderful pure while bleeding hearts.
These are wonderful for shade or partial shade gardens.
Breaking down the binomial we see that Dicentra means, in Greek, two spurs, and spectabilis (Latin) means worthy of notice; also spectacular. Take apart the blossom and you will see the white spurs.
All parts of the bleeding heart are poisonous.
Do not ingest them. They may cause skin irritations to persons with sensitive skin.
Cut back spent flowers and you will encourage further blooms.
There are two legends concerning the Bleeding heart. The first legend is said to to occur from China to Europe. The second, in England, is more macabre, and even has a date of occurrence.
A wealthy and handsome young man of royal degree fell deeply in love with a beautiful and equally wealthy princess. He lavished her with wonderful gifts to win her affection. First he gave her a pair of the most lovely and sweet matched rabbits to keep as pets. She took these graciously but stated that she could not love him. (These are represented by the first two pink petals.)
He attempted another ploy and gave her a gift of Asian slippers* made of the finest silk. She appreciated these gifts, and wore them, but graciously stated that she still did not love him. (These are represented by the next pair of pink petals.)
He spent the remainder of his avaliable funds to send her the most beautiful pair of pure white gold earrings that he could find. She wore the earrings but still refused to marry the young man. (These are represented by the white middle parts of the flower.)
In deep hopelessness, despair and grief he took his knife and stabbed himself through his heart to end his empty and forlorn life. A bleeding heart plant sprang from the place where his dead body lay.
If you handle the flower parts remember that they are poisonous and could be a problem for sensitive skin.
The second legend tells of Lady Elizabeth Hatton, and its occurance was on January 26, 1626. At a grand ball young and wealthy Lady Hatton danced throughout the evening when suddenly a European Ambassador took hold of the lady and danced a circuit of the room. The ambassador had a slightly hunched shoulder and his right hand was clawed; however, he was dressed impeccably. Then they danced right out of an open French door across the lighted patio and into the dark garden. The couple did not return.
The following morning, after hours of searching, the bloodied body of Lady Hatton was discovered in a cobbled courtyard behind the stable block of Hatton House. The area is now know as Bleeding Heart Yard. This latter statement is fact. Her body was dismembered. They found that her heart was still pumping blood out over the cobbles. Suddenly the guests realized that the ambassador with whom Lady Hatton danced must have been the Devil himself.
(It may be interesting to some that George Washington, who looks so stiff on coinage and in paintings, loved to dance. He could dance for hours without stopping.)
Members of the Roman church, organized and designed by Emperor Constantine, may have a suspicion as to what Bleeding Heart Yard is actually named for. If so you are most likely correct.
* In the very old original story of Cinderella the slippers were not glass. They were, in old French, pantoufle de vair. When the story was rediscovered the writer assumed that the word “vair” was an early form of “verre," or glass. Hence, glass slippers. Vair is squirrel fur. Pantoufle de vair means slippers of fur. These make more sense than glass slippers that had to be cleaned with Windex.