Botanical: Dicentra 'King of Hearts'
Common: Bleeding Heart
General Characteristics: King of Hearts' is a compact bleeding heart hybrid cultivar resulting from a cross of the Japanese species D. peregrina with two American species D. formosa subsp. oregana and D. eximia. It typically produces a foliage mound to 6-8" tall and 14" wide of deeply-cut, fern-like, bluish-green leaves that persists throughout the growing season. Nodding, heart-shaped, rich carmine-rose flowers are carried above the foliage to 10-15" tall on long, leafless, erect to slightly leaning stems. In hot climates, primary bloom is in May and June, with flowering slowing down considerably or stopping in the heat of the summer, but with a possible rebloom occurring when the weather cools in late summer to early fall. Flowering may continue throughout the summer in cool northern climates. Given adequate moisture, the foliage remains attractive in summer, and may produce an attractive ground cover effect. 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.