Dicentra formosa is a perennial forest plant native to the Northwest Coast, from the Pacific Ocean to the Cascade Mountains in Washington & Oregon. It is one of our most beautiful native plants. The flowers are usually a pale pink, but darker individuals, like the one shown in this photo, can be found. In time, one plant will spread widely by its creeping rootstock & also by seed. Over several years it may fill up a shaded area. Dicentra formosa does not grow well in full sun, but will take some partly sunny locations. This is primarily a plant of the forest floor with moderate water needs in summer. The leaves have a pleasing, fern-like appearance. They die to the ground in winter. Dicentra formosa pairs nicely with Oxalis oregana, a native forest groundcover. Find them in the native plant section of most nurseries in the Seattle area.
This blog was started in 2008 as Metropolitan Gardens to provide information about gardening in Seattle & the Pacific Northwest. It was later expanded to include information about parks, community gardens & public gardens in the US, Canada, Europe & South Africa. These can be found by clicking on Parks P-Patches Public Gardens. Natural areas in the US & South Africa can be found by clicking on Nature. The primary focus has always been on Seattle. However, many posts are based on photos taken while traveling. Please feel free to use the basic gardening information & plant lists found by clicking on Gardening in Cascadia. There are also posts on Urban Landscape, which is primarily architecture. Comments are welcome. Posts are scheduled on the 1st Friday of each month October-March & twice a month April-September. If you have any questions, please contact Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org
The city of Seattle rests between 2 bodies of water: Puget Sound & Lake Washington. Puget Sound is a substantial part of the Salish Sea & a very small part of the Pacific Ocean. The Salish Sea is set apart from the Pacific by the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington & Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia. The dense, wet clouds of the Pacific Ocean travel as far as the Cascade Mountains, near the Salish Sea & not very far from the ocean. East of the Cascades lies the desert of the Columbia Basin. The moist, temperate climate of Seattle extends south to northern California & north to southeastern Alaska. The Pacific Northwest Coast from San Francisco Bay to Cook Inlet shares a flora dominated by evergreen coniferous forest. The central portion, west of the Cascade Mountains, is called Cascadia. The climate is cool & wet from fall to spring, warm & dry in summer. The Olympic Mountains block Seattle from much of the Pacific rainfall. Seattle is drier than the Atlantic coast of North America & northern Europe, cooler in summer & warmer in winter. It lies near the latitude of Paris & Quebec City.