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Zones 1-9, 14-24
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Moderate

Dicentra formosa

Western Bleeding Heart
Papaveraceae
Perennials, Flowers

DICENTRA

Bleeding hearts are delicate-looking plants, with graceful, divided, fernlike foliage. Dainty pendent flowers, usually heart shaped, in pink, rose, yellow, or white on leafless, horizontal to arching stems. In general, dicentras need rich, light, moist, porous soil. Never let water stand around roots. Foliage dies down even in mild-winter climates; mark clumps to avoid digging into roots in dormant season. Short-lived in mild-winter areas.

Dicentra formosa

Native to moist woods along Pacific Coast. Grows to 1 1/2 ft. high, 3 ft. or wider. Blue-green foliage. In spring, leafless flower stalks hold clusters of pendulous pale or deep rose flowers on reddish stems. Spreads freely by rhizomes and seeding, forming large colonies. ‘Bacchanal’ has finely cut, gray-green leaves and dark red flowers. ‘Langtrees’ has silvery green foliage and white flowers shaded pink. ‘Zestful’ is everblooming, with deep rose flowers. D. f. oregana grows to 1 ft. high, has silvery green leaves and cream-colored flowers that are tipped with purple.

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