Bleeding Hearts, Corydalis, and Their Relatives

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Timber Press, 2008 - Gardening - 176 pages
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Members of the bleeding heart family, such as the well-known Chinese bleeding heart, have long been among the best-loved flowers of the perennial border. In recent years, however, excitement about this group has reached fever pitch with the introduction of dozens of stunning new discoveries, particularly among the genus Corydalis. Super-hardy and adorned with blossoms in a spectrum of jewel-like colors, their popularity has surged to new heights. Despite this fame, however, and the long-standing interest in the bleeding heart family, little has been written about these versatile and easily grown plants until now.This thorough guide for gardeners and botanists covers all the cultivated species, hybrids, and cultivars of Corydalis, Dicentra, and allied genera in the bleeding heart family. Written by three international experts and published in association with Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the book features concise descriptions, useful keys to the genera and species that allow for accurate identification of plants, and practical tips to successfully grow and use the plants in the landscape. Additional chapters cover the cultural history, cultivation, natural history, and distribution of the species, while a helpful glossary clarifies botanical terms. Fifty elegant line drawings and 115 vivid photographs showcase the range of brilliant colors and shapes of these botanical gems. The authors' formidable expertise and knowledge of the plants in the wild and in cultivation make this a must-read for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the world of perennial plants.


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This is a very scholarly treatment of the identification, history and care of these beautiful flowers. It may be a little too scholarly for the casual reader, particularly the identification key, which would be fabulous if it included pictures for those of us not familiar with the specific terms, but those are easily found on the internet. Overall a very worthwhile and enjoyable read. 


Natural History
Identification Key to Genera
Additional Cultivated Genera
Appendix A Useful Addresses
Measurement Conversion Tables
Index of Plant Names

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Mark C. Tebbitt teaches at California University of Pennsylvania and has studied all the North American species in the bleeding heart family. Formerly a botanist at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, he is author of Begonias (Timber Press, 2005).

Magnus Lidén is a senior botanical researcher and scientific curator at the Uppsala University Botanic Gardens.

Henrik Zetterlund is the horticultural curator at Gothenburg Botanic Garden.

Bibliographic information