Dicentra Collection

Bleeding Heart Bonanza!

The last week has brought a fresh flush of flowers and foliage around the entire Nursery. Color is becoming abundant from corner to corner, blanketing the property in yellows, purples, pinks, creamy and bright whites, and verdant greens. Amongst these harbingers of Spring, the well-loved Bleeding Hearts are making their appearance – both in the landscape as well as in production here on the farm. Being as this is a beloved ornamental and well known to plant aficionados and amateurs alike, we’re gonna keep it pretty straight forward this week and let the beauty of the plants speak for themselves through photographs. (Don’t worry, we’ll give you some fun plant facts along the way, too.)

Bleeding Hearts are known scientifically under the genus Dicentra (our native North American varieties such as D. eximia, Dicentra canadensis [squirrel corn] and D. cucullaria [Dutchman’s breeches]) and most recently under the synonym Lamprocapnos (the common Bleeding Heart, which is native to northern China, Japan, and Korea Dicentra spectabilis, was reclassified under this genus but is used synonymously with Dicentra), although both genus names are used throughout the trade interchangeably and have caused quite a headache amongst gardeners and horticulturists. Much of the decision for moving the East Asian Bleeding Hearts into the genus Lamprocapnos arrived when botanists realized they were unable to hybridize these plants with other Dicentra species. This encouraged the development of its own genus, hence the introduction of Lamprocapnos, which is now used and accepted worldwide. Both names allude to the unique and shapely inflorescences – Dicentra translates to “spectacular two spurs”, while Lamprocapnos translates to “bright smoke”.

The commonly known and adored Bleeding Heart is a staple in the landscape for its prolific drooping clusters that peak from April to late May, typically putting on a continual, floriferous show in the rock, border, or mixed perennial garden late into the summer. The introduction of Dicentra spectabilis into garden culture occurred in the mid-1840’s by the Royal Horticultural Society, and it has since been revered, hybridized and cultivated to produce various bloom and foliage colors. In the summer, the foliage of Dicentra spectabilis goes dormant and dies back, while the fern-like foliage of our East coast native Dicentra eximia remains attractive throughout the growing season, providing a feathery, grey-green filler quality when the plant stops blooming. The persistent foliage of the Fringed Bleeding Heart should be considered as an excellent and textural groundcover option when planted closer together, as the natural habit of all plants under the Dicentra umbrella is to form dense clumps as opposed to spreading. While in bloom, the native Fringed Bleeding Heart provides a crucial nectar source for hummingbirds and various bee species.

Easy to grow and even easier to appreciate, Bleeding Hearts are a perennial staple here at the Nursery. We offer several types, including the aforementioned Dicentra eximia, and Dicentra spectabilis, which encompasses straight species as well as the cultivars ‘Alba’, ‘Gold Heart’, ‘Valentine’, and ‘White Gold’. We also offer Dicentra x ‘Luxuriant’, a hybrid between the U.S. East Coast native Dicentra eximia and the U.S. West Coast native Dicentra formosa, as well as Dicentra ‘Pink Diamonds’ (PP32380). Check our availability to book your Bleeding Hearts today!


Fern, Ken, ed. “Dicentra Eximia - (Ker Gawl.) Torr.” Pfaf Plant Search. Plants for a Future, n.d.. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dicentra%2Beximia.

Hodges, Laurie. "Bleeding Heart: A Review for Growers", HortTechnology hortte 22, 4 (2012): 517-522, accessed Apr 7, 2023, https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.22.4.517

Irven, Judith. “All about Bleeding Hearts.” American Meadows. American Meadows, n.d.. https://www.americanmeadows.com/perennials/bleeding-heart/all-about-bleeding-hearts.

Izel Native Plants. “Dicentra Eximia.” Dicentra eximia (fringed bleeding heart) | Izel Native Plants. Izel Native Plants, n.d.. https://www.izelplants.com/dicentra-eximia-fringed-bleeding-heart/.

Mahr, Susan. “Bleeding Heart, Dicentra Spectabilis.” Wisconsin Horticulture. Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension | University of Wisconsin Madison, n.d.. https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/bleeding-heart-dicentra-spectabilis/.

Missouri Botanical Garden. “Dicentra Eximia.” Dicentra eximia - Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d.. https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=h700.

Missouri Botanical Garden. “Dicentra 'Luxuriant'.” Dicentra 'luxuriant' - Plant Finder. Missouri Botanical Garden, n.d.. https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c470.

NC State Extension. “Dicentra Eximia.” Dicentra eximia (Bleeding-heart, Fringed Bleeding Heart, Wild Bleeding Heart) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. NC Cooperative Extension, NC State University, n.d.. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/dicentra-eximia/.

NC State Extension. “Dicentra.” Dicentra (Bleeding Heart, Dutchman's Breeches, Squirrel Corn, Steer's-Head, Turkey Corn) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. NC Cooperative Extension | NC State University, n.d.. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/dicentra/.

New Moon Nursery. “New Moon Nurseries.” Dicentra eximia Wild bleeding heart (No Advance Orders) from New Moon Nurseries, n.d.. http://www.newmoonnursery.com/plant/Dicentra-eximia.

Portland Nursery. “Dicentra: Bleeding Heart.” Dicentra: Bleeding Heart | Portland Nursery. Portland Nursery. Accessed April 7, 2023. https://www.portlandnursery.com/perennials/dicentra.

Walters Gardens, Inc. “Dicentra 'Pink Diamonds' PP32380 CPBRAF: Walters Gardens, Inc..” Dicentra 'Pink Diamonds' PP32380 CPBRAF | Walters Gardens, Inc. Walters Gardens, Inc., n.d.. https://www.waltersgardens.com/variety.php?ID=DICPD.

See all our Perennials

Dicentra spectabilis Gold Heart