Garden Notes

Bleeding Heart

2005 August 7
by mike

The bleeding heart is a plant in one of several species in the genus Dicentra known for its flowers: they appear to be tiny hearts with a drop of blood hanging from the tips. The most commonly found bleeding heart is the Dicentra spectabilis, or Japanese bleeding heart. Its pink and white flowers contrast nicely with its broad bluish-green leaves. The Dicentra spectabilis blooms in spring, giving a nice burst of color into the garden and goes into dormancy as the summer heats up. The bleeding heart does best in a shady area, since it is native to the woodlands of Japan.

Other varieties of the bleeding heart are the Dicentra Formosa (western bleeding heart) and Dicentra eximia (Fringed bleeding heart). They are similar to each other in appearance, with fern-like bluish-green leaves.


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