Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in family Fumariaceae, comprising 8 species. It is native to Asia (one species) and North America. The common name comes from the appearance of the pink flower, which resembles the shape of a heart symbol with a drop of blood descending.

Dicentra has stems that lack leaves and all leaves are in a basal rosette. It is easily distinguished from other genera by its bi-symmetrical heart-shaped flowers. All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. Dicentra is good for rock gardens.

Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart, Dutchman's Breeches) bears racemes of rose-pink, locket -like flowers with white inner petals in late spring and early summer. D. spectabilis 'Alba' has pure white flowers.

Dicentra formosa (western bleeding heart or Pacific bleeding heart) is a self-seeded plant, found in moist wooded areas from California to British Columbia. The plant can reach a height of 0.5 m. It forms a dense clump of ferny, mid-green leaves with clusters of flowers borne on reddish stems from late spring to early summer. The flower has four petals between 1-2 cm long in shades of purple to pink to nearly white. The outer two petals curve and pouch, forming a rough heart shape. There are two subspecies, Dicentra formosa subsp, formosa, and Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana.

Plant Dicentra in partial shade, in fertile, moisture-retentive, neutral to alkaline soil. Propagation is by ripe seed; division in early spring; or root cuttings in winter. Slugs and snails are pests that can affect the growth of the plant.

Venus's car, bleeding heart or lyre flower (Dicentra spectabilis)Venus's car, bleeding heart or lyre flower (Dicentra spectabilis)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dicentra-spectabilis.jpg
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Dicentra chrysanthaDicentra chrysantha
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dicentra_chrysantha_2004-05-17.jpg
authorshipCurtis Clark
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Dicentra peregrinaDicentra peregrina
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dicentra_peregrina_02.jpg
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Dutchman's Breeches, aka Staggerweed (Dicentra cucullaria)Dutchman's Breeches, aka Staggerweed (Dicentra cucullaria)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dicentra_cucullaria.JPG
authorshipCatie Drew
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Dicentra eximiaDicentra eximia
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dicentra_eximia0.jpg
authorshipKurt Stüber
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Dicentra formosaDicentra formosa
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dicentra_formosa0.jpg
authorshipKurt Stüber
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 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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