Dicentra Species, Fringed Bleeding Heart, Wild Bleeding Heart, Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart

Dicentra eximia

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dicentra (dy-SEN-truh) (Info)
Species: eximia (eks-IM-mee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Bicuculla eximia
Synonym:Capnorchis eximia
Synonym:Corydalis eximia
Synonym:Diclytra eximia
Synonym:Fumaria eximia


Alpines and Rock Gardens



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:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial 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:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage


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

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

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:


Auburn, Alabama

Juneau, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Carlotta, California

Sacramento, California

Niantic, Connecticut

Oxford, Connecticut

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Farmersburg, Indiana

Greenville, Indiana

Inwood, Iowa

Pacific Junction, Iowa

Portland, Maine

Brookeville, Maryland

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Boxford, Massachusetts

Reading, Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Grand Blanc, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Madison Heights, Michigan

Mason, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Hudson, New Hampshire

Princeton Junction, New Jersey

Ballston Lake, New York

Jefferson, New York

Queensbury, New York

Southold, New York

Cary, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Port Matilda, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Belton, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Fort Worth, Texas

Essex Junction, Vermont

Leesburg, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 21, 2016, onebugslife from Pacific Junction, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Zone 5 - SW Iowa - I planted a couple of these in a shady area under some oak trees a few years ago. Each year, they spread out a little more. They are very pretty and and require no care what so ever. They are great for those early bees in the spring before other things are blooming. Love them and would recommend for any shady area.


On Apr 20, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

All the photos on this page are actually Dicentra formosa. The real Dicentra eximia has slender flowers, with more sharply bent "wings" (outer petals). Dicentra formosa, which has fatter flowers, is sold by nurseries under the name of Dicentra eximia.

I planted the real Dicentra eximia, which a friend gave me from his garden, where it self-sows. I hope it will do the same in my garden, although the soil is somewhat drier.


On Jun 4, 2007, Ttinylass from Knoxville, TN wrote:

I live in East Tennessee, This plant has bloomed for me from early March with continuous blooms covering the plant until late October when finally frozen to the ground. It sprung back up early this year, weathered a late freeze, and is blooming like mad. I do remove the seed pods when they lay on the ground, and throughout our 90+ degree heat, she will have 20 or more bloom scapes covering the pretty silver folage. Bug and disease resistant too, what's not to love! Ttinylass


On Oct 13, 2006, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

This a beautiful plant. Mine is now 4 years in my garden and is about 3 feet wide and 2.5 feet tall. It blooms all summer and does not die down like the old-fashioned dicentra varieties. It does have volunteer seedlings each summer that I gladly share but is definitely not invasive. This plant is in full shade on the north side of my garage.


On Aug 26, 2006, pereniallyyours from Queensbury, NY wrote:

We have a beautiful bleeding heart with probably a 2 foot base - it has been here a while - any ideas on when is the best time to move or divide? We are in upstate NY


On Jun 29, 2005, summerfun67 from Graham, WA wrote:

This plant grows wild in my backyard in Graham, WA. It is a wonderful beauty.


On May 11, 2004, idahotransplant from Rathdrum, ID wrote:

I have very good luck growing this in Northern Idaho. It is planted in a quite shady area; next to the house between the house and our large tree next to the driveway. I have been told the flowers look like " ladies in a bathtub upside down".


On Oct 13, 2003, carolcastro wrote:

Purchased two plants, put in very shady area, received average watering. Performed well first year. Second year plant closest to light did very well, plant further away from light produced foliage but no blooms. Clearly likes partial shade, tolerates little water.
Are native to California however these plants referred to here are cultivars.


On Jun 30, 2003, bsarg from Worcester, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

One of my favorite garden plants! Lovely foliage. If you pinch off the stems after blooming it goes for the whole season (May to frost here)although a dwindling supply of new flowers.Performs much better in light shade.


On Jun 29, 2003, Magazinewriter from Bloomfield Hills, MI wrote:

I bought three dicentra last year; only one came back this year. It just sits there limply and gives off a few wilted looking blooms.


On Jan 5, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Fringed bleeding heart is much more forgiving of temporary hot/dry spells than the more commonly grown species. It stays above-ground and blooms if provided suitable moisture and shade, occasionally into the autumn.


On Mar 12, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Has fern-like foliage and blooms intermittently through the summer. There are several varieties with flowers in shades of red or pink. The plant tolerates full sun if well-watered, although does best in partial shade.

Plant in a well-drained spot enriched with humus or peat. Fringed Bleeding Heart self seeds freely and may become overcrowded in time.