Flowers of Dicentra 'Aurora'

Dicentra ‘Aurora’

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Recently I treated myself to this pretty Dicentra formosa ‘Aurora’ at a local plant market. It’s not the most practical of plants to choose for a Suffolk garden, given our often hot and dry weather. I do however have a couple of shady spots in the garden, so I’m hoping that it will be happy enough in one of them.

I must admit that there was a lot of nostalgia involved in choosing this plant. When we lived in Scotland I used to grow the very similar Dicentra formosa ‘Langtrees’. That one had very silver-grey foliage and made a wonderful ferny-looking ground cover. (It did die back if the weather got hot though, so needed to be amongst other plants that would hide bald patches.)

Dicentra formosa isn’t as showy as the better-known ‘Bleeding Heart’, Dicentra spectabilis, which has had its name changed to ‘Lamprocapnos spectabilis’. (Why are plant names inevitably changed to something that would make a great tongue-twister?) But I reckon this is a lovely plant which should look good alongside the other plants in my garden…if I can help it survive!

Flowers of Dicentra 'Aurora'
Dicentra ‘Aurora’

16 thoughts on “Dicentra ‘Aurora’

  1. Your mention of the change from Dicentra to Lamprocapnos reminds me that some years ago I went on a field trip led by a botany professor. She said it’s ironic that in so many cases now the common name of a species has proved more stable than the scientific name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The name changes make life difficult and confusing for gardeners! Especially because the new names are so often hard to spell and hard to pronounce. And then they’re hard to remember too, so the common names are more likely to be used.


  2. Not only that — some sources stick with the old scientific names even after the change. Horticultural sites are especially given to that, although the USDA usually lags, too. It can be very confusing.

    This flower is pretty enough, in an odd sort of way. It looks to me like a bleeding heart that didn’t have the ‘oomph’ to fully develop. It will be interesting to see what it looks like if it thrives and spreads. If it pleases you, that’s what counts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jude – I’ll try putting it in an area where I know I’ll have to make sure that it’s neighbours get a bit of water in summer. makes it so much easier if the thirstier plants are together.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought the flowers looked familiar, as they reminded me of “bleeding hearts.” Our neighbor grows some of those in her garden and I get to enjoy them from a distance.
    I hope your formosas will do formidably well.

    Liked by 1 person

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