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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

bleeding heart

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Bleeding heart in bloom
© Greg Rabourn
Bleeding heart in bloom (enlarge)

Dicentra formosa

Perennial Groundcover

Height: 1.50 ft.

Availability: High

Growing ease: High

Moisture req.: dry - moist

Exposure req.: part shade - shade


Plant description:

With graceful, fernlike foliage, this is the ballerina of native plants. The heart shaped rose pink flowers on faint purplish stems hang delicately from the arching folliage. Arising in the spring and often melting away in the hot summer, the bleeding heart is best grown in damper, but not soppy-wet sites. It is at its best in shady ravines, under trees, and in combination with ferns, foam flower, vine maples and trillium. Sometime it will awaken for a second bloom in fall.

Keywords: birds, butterflies, drought tolerant, fast, fire-resistant , perennial (non-woody), pink, purple, spreading, upright

Articles that mention this plant: Native plants for deep shade

Plans that use this plant:Dry, shady