Fringed Bleeding Heart

images (2)One of my favorite natives for both ease of siting and durability is Dicentra eximia or Fringed Bleeding Heart. Unlike its Asian cousin, Dicentra spectabilis, this tough native of the eastern US does not go dormant in the summer. Instead, it not only retains its deeply cut fern-like foliage but continues to bloom from late spring on, except during very hot periods of the summer, only to rebloom when the weather cools down. The light to quite dark pink blossoms are heart shaped with inner petals hanging down from inside the main part of the flower giving a bleeding look to it. At an average of 12-18 inches tall and tolerant of both shade and part sun, it fits well into most borders and natural plantings. It is a favorite of hummingbirds, beneficial insects, and many pollinators. When customers ask for a plant that is tolerant of both tree roots and dry shade, this is one of the choices that I give them. It will clump and even spread slowly by seed thus naturalizing a woodland. Ants also harvest the seed and spread them around randomly, adding to any plan you may have for the planting. There are some white flowered forms available, and though not as vigorous, they do show up better, especially from a distance. The bonus of being both deer and rabbit resistant just adds to its appeal as a low maintenance native perennial.
We carry Dicentra eximia here at the nursery, if you are looking for a plant to help maintain consistent bloom and provide interesting foliage throughout the season, this plant may be just the one!

9 comments on “Fringed Bleeding Heart

  1. I do love my fern leaf bleeding hearts! They fit in anywhere and you’re so right about them working well in dry shade. I have them under huge white pines and they are so happy!

  2. I love all dicentra, I have many. One that is fairly new to me is D’ scandens, I’ve grown it from seed and now save seed and propagate for my plant sales, it’s always a winner as it’s a climber and yellow. But I agree they are all so accommodating and good value plants.

  3. Rick,
    My sister, Jenny, may be coming to see Mom (Sally) in May. Would she be able to pick up some of the fringed bleeding hearts from you at that time? I think they might do very well in north central Ohio. I know Cathy Roberts will keep them alive until my summer trip to see Mom.

    Betsy Manderen

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