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Recently there has been discussion on Alpine-L concerning Dicentra 'King of Hearts', with reference to desirable Dicentra hybrids involving the renowned Japanese species, D. peregrina, and some of the western American species. This small gallery illustrates a plant of similar provenance that I once grew in my Bellevue, Washington garden, back in the mid 1980s.  Wish I still had it!

Dicentra peregrina  x  eximia    copyright  Phil Pearson

Dicentra peregrina x eximia

Approximately 1985, I received a young plant from Ev Whittemore selected from a series of variable hybrids between Dicentra peregrina and the American species Dicentra eximia.  She informed me that the plant came from a Japanese grower who created numerous hybrids between D. peregrina and a couple of American species (eximia, formosa ssp.oregana), and this plant represented just one of many unnamed hybrids.  It is likely this is one of the "Rokujo Hybrids" developed by Japanese nurseryman Dr. Tsushenige Rokujo, but I've never confirmed that fact.

 

The plant shown here was photographed by Phil Pearson of Grand Ridge Nursery, Issaquah, Washington, growing in one of Phil Pearson's beautiful hand made pots.

 

Dicentra peregrina  x  eximia - close up view   copyright  Phil Pearson

Close-up of Dicentra peregrina x eximia

When I moved back to the Massachusetts in 1986, I gave away my plant either to Siskiyou Rare Plant Nursery or to Grand Ridge Nursery in Issaquah, Washington (I'd have to dig out my records to discover who I sent it to at this point).  I'm not sure how this plant compares to the 'King of Hearts' cultivar, but no doubt all of these small bleeding hearts are beautiful and choice plants to be coveted.

To see two other dicentras, D. cucullaria and D. 'King of Hearts' (Hort), follow this link.

 

Lewisia rediviva - white form with pink anthers   copyright  2000 Mark McDonough

Close-up of Lewisia rediviva - white form

I couldn't resist throwing in an image of the glorious white-flowered form of Lewisia rediviva.  While normally a pink-flowered species, there exists var. minor, described as having smaller white flowers.  However, plants from the dry mountains of Washington State have larger white flowers and distinctive pink anthers, not really fitting into the var. minor description.  While I was cautioned that this dryland plant was impossible in the open garden in Seattle, the plant pictured above was grown successfully in pure sand and grit, out in the open garden exposed for several years to the infamous Seattle rain and drizzle. 

 

This species in it's native habitat, gave clues to it's cultivation.  It the Wenatchee Mts., at approximately 5000' elevation, amid jumbles of flat, jagged rocks and dust dry fine silty soil, Lewisia rediviva popped up here and there, presenting an improbable and amusing picture with beautiful white goblets peeking out from under the rocks.  If the flat, hand-sized rocks giving shelter to one of these beauties was lifted, there were forked carrot-like roots laying horizontally, mostly exposed and barely engaged with the soil.  In the garden, I gave them similar treatment, planting on sloped raised beds, spreading the roots horizontally on top of sand/grit "soil" and just barely covering them, then placing a flat rock over the root.

 

I notice that Ron Ratko of Northwest Native Seeds offers this beautiful form in his newest December 2000 seed catalog.

 

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Questions or comments on this page?  Contact Mark McDonough at antennaria@aol.com.

Images and textual content copyright 2000 Mark McDonough

This page was last updated on 05/08/01