Bleeding Heart - Dicentra spectabilis Bleeding Heart - Dicentra spectabilis

Herb: Bleeding Heart

Latin name: Dicentra spectabilis

Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

Edible parts of Bleeding Heart:

Young leaves in spring - cooked.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Woods and deep shady valleys.

Propagation of Bleeding Heart:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown in early spring. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15C. Two weeks warm stratification at 18C followed by six weeks at 2C can shorten up the germination time. Prick out the plants into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, grow them on for their first winter in a cold frame and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring. Division in early spring. Care must be taken since the plant strongly resents root disturbance. Division is best carried out in late winter. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Root cuttings 7 - 10cm long in sandy soil in a cold frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woods and deep shady valleys.

Medicinal use of Bleeding Heart:

None known

Known hazards of Dicentra spectabilis:

The plant is potentially poisonous and can also cause skin rashes.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.