Monday, April 18, 2016

Dicentra formosa

Dicentra formosa (Native Bleeding Heart)

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.

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