Pacific Bleeding Heart, Western Bleeding Heart

Dicentra formosa

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dicentra (dy-SEN-truh) (Info)
Species: formosa (for-MOH-suh) (Info)
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Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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


Anchorage, Alaska

Crescent City, California

Los Altos, California

Sacramento, California

Sebastopol, California

Lombard, Illinois

West Chicago, Illinois

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Southold, New York

Corvallis, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

Gold Hill, Oregon

Grants Pass, Oregon

Portland, Oregon (2 reports)

Salem, Oregon

Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Humble, Texas

Santaquin, Utah

Arlington, Washington

Chimacum, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 19, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a native in my area. When I bring in forest dirt, I always get some volunteers, which I allow to just spread wherever they like. They bloom in May, and when they start to get too congested, I just yank them all out and they always come back. Nice ground cover / filler for me.


On May 4, 2008, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

These plants colonize a shady area very well. They grow equally well under pine, maple, and walnut trees, spreading about 6" a year. Their flowers keep coming from May-August and are cute in little bouquets. I highly recommend this flower.