Dicentra dicentra

(dy-sen' tra)

Common name: Bleeding Heart

Family: Fumariaceae, Fumitory

Height x width: 6'-36' x 12-18"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: dissected to deeply cut, compound, green or gray-green

Flowers: basal or long-branched racemes; white to red, distinctive shapes; spring to summer

Hardiness: zones 3-7, 8, 9

Soil: moist, rich

Light: part shade

Pests and problems: few

Landscape habit, uses: woodland, front to mid-border

Other interest: first plants of common bleeding heart introduced to England in 1840's from Japan by famous plant explorer Robert Fortune; flowers resemble bleeding hearts or upside down breeches (pants)

Other culture: may go dormant if dry out; divide after 3 years if needed

Propagation: sow fresh seed or warm/cold/warm stratify; 3-4" root cuttings in summer or fall; fall division


cucullaria(coo-coo-lair' ee-ah)--Dutchman's Breeches, zones 3-7, 6-12" x 12", creamy white flowers in spring with two upward spurs, native along East coast of U.S., gray-green dissected leaves

eximia(ex-im' ee-ah)--Fringed Bleeding Heart, zones 3-9, 9-18" x 18", rose-pink flowers in spring, gray-green fern-like foliage arising directly from rootstock as do flowers, U.S. east coast native, long branched flower stalks (photo courtesy: laurelinsgarden, photobucket.com)

formosa(for-moe' sa)--Pacific Bleeding Heart, west coast native version of eximia only more drought resistant and less tolerant of wet

spectabilis(spec-tah' bil-iss)--Common Bleeding Heart, zones 2-8, 18-36" x 18", rose-pink outer and white inner petals in spring on arching stems, easily forced in pots indoors, largest leaves in genus

Cultivar species flowers foliage  
'Adrian Bloom' -- ruby-red bluish  
'Alba':'Snowdrift' eximia      
alba formosa white blue-green  
'Alba' spectabilis white green  
'Bacchanal' -- deep wine dark green  
'Boothman's Variety': 'Stuart Boothman'        
'Bountiful' -- rosy-red finely cut green  
'Gold Heart'
'Langtrees' -- white  blue-green   
'Luxuriant' -- cherry-red blue-green   
'Margery Fish' -- white bluish   
'Pantaloons' spectabilis white green  
'Pearl Drops' -- white tinged pink blue-green  
'Ruby Mar' formosa red glaucous blue   
'Silver Smith' -- white flushed pink green  
'Snowdrift' eximia pure white green  
'Snowflakes' -- creamy white finely cut green  
'Stuart Boothman' (Boothman's Variety) red      
'Sweetheart' -- snow white green  
'Zestful' -- deep rose blue-green  


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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