Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Dicentra formosa ssp. formosa (Bleeding Heart)



 Plantae Plants


 Tracheobionta Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta Seed plants


 Magnoliophyta Flowering plants


 Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons






 Fumariaceae Fumitory family


 Dicentra Bernh. bleeding heart


 Dicentra formosa (Haw.) Walp. Pacific bleeding heart


 Dicentra formosa (Haw.) Walp. ssp. formosa Pacific bleeding heart

Note: Throughout the years I've written short articles for our website's home pages (home pages are the front page of a website) about these plants. They are now included at the bottom of this page, and are illustrated by botanical drawings and paintings, some of which are from books published from 1500 - 1900.

This beautiful perennial is native to the Pacific Northwest (USDA 7-10).

It is very similar to the cultivated varieties but has a substantially longer bloom time. In fact, it remains in flower all through the spring and summer.

Fleshy textured, deeply cut leaves are as delicate as lace, and pendant, pink to purple flowers have gentle fragrance.

Bleeding Heart likes shady, moist areas and makes an excellent understory plant.

I fell in love with this plant at the tender age of 4, and it remains a personal favorite over 60 years later.

A must for every garden.


From Homepage May 21, 2008

Though the recent weather can only be classified as HOT, the northwest native Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa ssp. formosa) still thrives in its shady habitat.

This wild perennial is very similar to cultivated varieties but its blooms last much longer, often flowering through spring and summer.

The leaves are lacy and delicate. Flowers are pink to purple, pendant and slightly fragrant. I have cut both leaf and bloom for indoor bouquets with some success. The fleshy leaves demand a lot of water when cut.

Bleeding Heart is a natural understory plant and thrives in moist, shady locations. Naturally occurring in USDA zones 7-10. Perfect for that little shady spot you can't think what to do with. Spreads slowly to fill in blank places in the garden.

Photos We Share!

It is our pleasure to share the photographs in this section with you under the Creative Commons License (see link below for details). We retain ownership of the photos but you may use them freely as long as you credit our website for them.



Creative Commons License
These photos by http://www.nwplants.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Contact:  star@chillirose.com ~ Copyright 2012 Wallace W. Hansen ~ All rights reserved