I was inspired by a Facebook post from Gary Borland, who while commenting on the video below of a blooming Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) said, "They are beautiful, only wish they lasted longer."
Dicentra spectabilis is a beautiful heirloom perennial. In the spring the foliage emerges, and then the spectacular blooms. When mid-summer arrives the plant turns yellow and goes dormant.
I wanted him to know there are many different cultivars that will bloom most of the season.
Probably the most famous of the long blooming varieties is the hybrid Dicentra x 'Luxuriant.' My radio partner Jessica Walliser has it all over her garden and swears by the cultivar. It blooms most of the summer, especially if watered when rain is scarce.
It's certainly not the same as the old-fashioned variety, but it's a show stopper.
'Burning Hearts' is an amazing looking plant. I don't have any first hand knowledge of it's growing habit. I've heard it can be short-lived, lasting only a few seasons. Those gardeners growing it though, love the plant. If I could get a hold of a few, I'd put 'Burning Hearts' in my garden.
Dicentra formosa or Western bleeding heart is another long bloomer. It's a tough plant that grows wild in the western United States. Like most bleeding hearts, it loves cool shady spots and plenty of water.
There are white varieties too, and plenty of other cultivars to discover.
Have fun looking!