Garden News Blog

Wild Bleeding Heart in Bloom

Wild Bleeding Heart
Dicentra eximia (wild bleeding heart) in bloom in the Native Flora Garden. Photo by Uli Lorimer.

In contrast to its cousin Dicentra cuccularia, Dicentra eximia, commonly known as wild bleeding heart, is one of our longest flowering and most widely adaptable spring flowers. The blossoms emerge by mid- to late April and will cling to the plant through August and September. Equally at home in full sun or shade and growing in sandy or dark rich soil, this is one tough customer! It forms neat clumps that grow larger with age, and it also seeds itself readily. Not to worry, the itinerant seedlings are easily removed from unwanted places. Its specific epithet in Latin, eximia, means extraordinary, and to my mind is an accurate description of this species.

Uli Lorimer is curator of BBG's Native Flora Garden. He has had a lifelong interest in native plants and holds an honors degree from the University of Delaware in landscape horticulture.
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