Daily Sketches – June 30 Flowers – 9. Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Lamprocapnos spectabilis, formely known as Dicentra spectabilis (a scientific name still widely used) has this very easily recognizable heart shape, hence the popular name of bleeding-heart. Other common names include lyre flower, heart flower and lady-in-a-bath.

The flower has 2 large outer petals (those in the shape of a heart) and two inner petals, narrow, in the shape of a spoon, joined at their tips (the so-called blood drop).

When the flower is not fully mature, those two wings you see at the outer petals are oriented downwards and wrap the “drop”.

Tightly packed inside the inner petals we find: at the base a superior ovary, then 2 filaments that seem joined in a tube, each ending with 3 anthers, and a pistil with a bi-lobed and horned stigma. Each of the two filaments of the stamens forms nectar bearing spur in a shape of a loop, that extends into the spur of the outer petal.

We will find a similar structure to Corydalis flowers, which you saw me sketching so many times this spring, only that the shape of the outer petals of corydalis is different. Dicentra genus has flowers with two planes of symmetry, and Corydalis has flowers with one plane of symmetry (zygomorphic).


In today’s video I’m drawing the bleeding heart flower with sanguine and ink.

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