Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bleeding Heart
Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba'

Family: Fumariaceae (foo-mar-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dicentra (dy-SEN-truh) (Info)
Species: spectabilis (speck-TAB-ih-liss) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba

Synonym:Dicentra spectabilis f. alba

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

35 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 30 photos.
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9 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Gabrielle On Jul 12, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Not quite as showy as species Dicentra spectabilis, but still nice. Can withstand a fair amount of sun. Blooms April-June in my garden.

Positive stormyla On Jan 3, 2010, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a very lovely plant whose gracefull stems full of white flowers really brighten up the shade bed. I have found it to be a quick grower and very vigorous. At the end of their first full year, it was necessary to move some of them due to their incredible size. They have been relocated to an area of extremely dry shade. It will be interesting to see whether or not they will survive there.

Positive weedsfree On Jun 10, 2009, weedsfree from Magna, UT (Zone 7a) wrote:

It's in mid June and it is still putting out flowers!

Positive wandygirl On Feb 16, 2009, wandygirl from Brookfield, CT wrote:

I planted this beauty in a traffic island bed under tall trees. Was lovely for several years with absolutely no supplemental care. Last spring it didn't show. Upon close inspection it was obvious that someone had dug it up. I guess someone really liked it. It goes dormant after blooming.

Positive rosewood513 On May 5, 2008, rosewood513 from Lanoka Harbor, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I saw this lovely flowering plant growing in a relatives' garden in deep shade and had to have it.
It is so graceful and airy and the flowers just catch your eye. I planted them three years ago and are doing well.
They greet me as I come home, I placed them in by walkway and they seem to wave and bob their little heads as I pass. Simply delightful.

Positive Malus2006 On May 2, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

For me the white flower form are harder to grow than the pink form - the pink form seed like crazy. I have lost some white forms in my early years at starting a garden.

Positive Sashagirl On Sep 4, 2007, Sashagirl from Davenport, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is one of my favorites, because of it's soft, graceful form.
I planted mine about 17 years ago, as a quart size nursery grown plant, and have moved it 2 or 3 times over the years, due to landscape renovations.
It is so dependable, but is slow to grow to maturity-takes several years, in fact. It's mature size for me, is about 40 inches tall, with about 4 ft. breadth.
I have it in a dry shade bed, and seldom water it-and it seems to thrive with neglect, once established.
The foliage starts to look ratty around the first of August, so I cut it back to the ground at that time, and fill in that spot with a large containered shade plant.
I highly reccomend this beauty, for it's stunning presence, its durability, and ease of care.

Positive TBGDN On May 17, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I am equally impressed with the white bleeding heart as the pink. Both have the same cultural requirements, and both add color and character to spring shade gardens. Both are very easily grown here.

Positive LrngToFly On Apr 30, 2006, LrngToFly from Clinton, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love this plant; I have an 'Alba'. Unfortunately I just had my house re-roofed and they destroyed it! The four stalks were cut off about an inch above the ground. This happened just before it was about to bloom. I assume it will die because it won't have the ability to re-strengthen the roots for next year. I'm going to purchase another (and perhaps one with some color as well.)

Neutral SW_gardener On Mar 27, 2006, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

So far I've only seen this variety in books and photos, but today I was at the garden center and bought a root of it!!!
So I brought it home and planted it right away (next to the transplanted remains of my pink one. I don't know if pink will live or not). It has some good growth coming on it and I put an upside down clay pot over it to protect it from the cold during the night. I hope it does well and I'll update this when I have more info!

Positive sanity101 On May 21, 2005, sanity101 from Dublin, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

See the Dicentra spectabilis entry for information on the pink version of this plant. In my experience, the two colors are almost identical.

The exceptions are if a white and a pink are planted too close together, the pink will have a little more vigor and crowd the white, though otherwise, the Alba variety is not lacking in vigor, both spread and flower profusely.

Also, the alba variety will self-seed, (though modestly) which I have not observed in the pink specimins.

Very pretty and worth seeking out if not avaliable in your area.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Little Rock, Arkansas
Littleton, Colorado
Brookfield, Connecticut
Oxford, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Plainfield, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Durham, Maine
Ijamsville, Maryland
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
South Rockwood, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota (3 reports)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Brunswick, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri
Auburn, New Hampshire
Denville, New Jersey
Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
Millville, New Jersey
Carmel, New York
Port Washington, New York
Poughkeepsie, New York
Schenectady, New York
Southold, New York
Belfield, North Dakota
Coshocton, Ohio
Dublin, Ohio
Fredericktown, Ohio
Hamilton, Ohio
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Rector, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Warwick, Rhode Island
Summerville, South Carolina
American Fork, Utah
Magna, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Essex Junction, Vermont
Arlington, Virginia (2 reports)
Danville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Radford, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Marinette, Wisconsin
Muscoda, Wisconsin

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