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A picture of a Common Bleeding Heart

Common Bleeding Heart

Dicentra formosa

Also known as

Wild Bleeding Heart, Western Bleeding Heart, Pacific Bleeding Heart, Bleeding heart

Dicentra formosa 6751 by (talk) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Common Bleeding Heart

A close up of some white pink Dicentra formosa flowers
A pink Dicentra formosa flower on a green plant
The foliage of a Dicentra formosa plant with some small pink flowers
The foliage of a Dicentra formosa plant with two small pink flowers
A photo of Common Bleeding Heart

Common Bleeding Heart Overview

Dicentra formosa is a low-maintenance perennial with a spreading habit. It produces attractive arching branches of pendent, rose-pink or white flowers in late spring and early summer. It has abundant and attractive, long, lobed, mid-green leaves that are glaucous underneath and have a 'feathery' appearance. Also known as 'Bleeding Heart' - among several other common names - Dicentra formosa likes fertile, moist but well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline. Also, a sheltered position in partial shade. If planted in full sun, regular watering will be needed. Dicentra formosa suits many garden styles and can be used as ground cover and for underplanting shrubs. Usually seen in mixed borders and often in cottage gardens, its flowers and foliage can be used for flower arranging.

Common problems with Common Bleeding Heart

How to propagate Common Bleeding Heart


Sow as soon as the seeds are ripe or in spring.


Divide rhizomes in spring or after the leaves have died back.

Special features of Common Bleeding Heart

Attractive flowers

Ground cover

Prefers growing in fertile moist soil.

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Common Bleeding Heart

Flower arranging.