Don’t be fooled by Western Bleeding Hearts delicate appearance, this is a tough woodland plant. In early spring the fern-like, blue green foliage appears. It is the perfect backdrop for the heart-shaped pink flowers. The blossoms almost look like they’re floating above the lacy foliage. Hummingbirds love the nectar and it is also a host plant for several species of butterflies. This Dicentra likes shade where it is hot and sun where the summers are cool. Looks beautiful planted with wild ginger, meadow rue and columbine.
Attract hummingbirds and butterflies
Pink heart-shaped flowers in spring and early summer
Adds color and texture to shady areas
Rabbits tend to leave this plant alone
Slowly spreads by rizomes to form a neat carpet
Native to Oregon, Washington, California and Massachusetts. Found in cool damp woods.
The seed from this plant has a ruffle of white fat called an elaiosome on the outside of the shell. Ants lug the seeds back to their nests and eat the nutritious food and discards the rest thereby “planting” the seed. It’s a win/win. The ant gets food and the plant gets help dispersing its seed.
Moist, humus-rich soil is best but standing water is not tolerated. Good soil drainage is essential for plant survival.