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Herbaceous Perennial

Dicentra formosa

western bleeding heart

D. formosa is a wide-spreading rhizomatous perennial with abundant, lobed leaves 10-45cm long, mid-green above and glaucous beneath. Pendulous flowers are borne on branching, arching stems in late spring and early summer; usually pink, opening from deep rose-pink buds

Other common names
common bleeding heart
wild bleeding heart
Synonyms
Dicentra eximia misapplied

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink Green Grey Silver
Summer Pink Green Grey Silver
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Papaveraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
All parts cause stomach ache if ingested, the foliage may aggravate skin allergies. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Dicentra can be rhizomatous or tuberous perennials with attractively divided leaves and pendent, heart-shaped flowers, usually in arching panicles or racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Western N America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist, fertile, humus-rich soil, preferably neutral or slightly alkaline; site in partial shade although will tolerate sunnier spot if the soil is moist

Propagation

Propagate by division in early spring or after the leaves have died down. Propagate by seed, sowing seeds as soon as ripe or in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Rock garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Ground cover
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Slugs and snails can damage emerging foliage

Diseases

Generally disease free

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