Dicentras have always been valued as colourful shade plants, often with good foliage as well as good flowers. But new introductions from Japan have taken them a big step further.
‘Burning Hearts' combines the virtues of D. peregrina and D. eximia to create a plant whose spectacular flowers and beautiful foliage make a superb combination.
The foliage is bright blue-grey and unusually finely dissected to create the look of a shimmering silvery blue fern. Set against the lovely leaves are the flowers. Opening from rich red buds, they emerge deep red flowers edged in white.
Grow ‘Burning Hearts' in any partially shaded place in humus-rich soil - but make sure the soil does not dry out in summer or become waterlogged in winter. Good woodsy, shade-garden soil should be ideal.
Developed in Japan by Akira Shiozaki, he used pollen from the widely grown, robust and vigorous D. eximea, which grows in the woods of the eastern United States, to fertilize flowers of D. peregrina, a mountain species from China and eastern Siberia (sometimes growing on the sides of volcanoes) with tight tufts of silver foliage dissected almost into threads.
From this a series of plants with intense blue-grey foliage has been developed, ‘Burning Hearts' is the latest - following ‘King of Hearts' and ‘Candy Hearts' - and there are still more to come.
Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts' is available from these five RHS PlantFinder nurseries.