By Common Name‎ > ‎Wildflowers N-Z‎ > ‎

Western Bleeding Heart

Western Bleeding Heart or Pacific Bleeding Heart, Dicentra formosa

Western Bleeding Heart flowers, photographer Martha Rasmussen

Bleeding Heart is one of the first flowers you will find blooming as the forest awakens for spring, often growing with Trillium and Siberian Miner's Lettuce Formosa in Latin means "beautiful" and everything about this plant is beautiful.   The foliage is delicate and lacy off set by clusters of red, pink and occasionally white flowers. Dicentra, Latin word dis referring to two or twice depicts the flower with two outer petals  forming a heart shape.  The heart shaped flower bears two sepals at the base of the heart shaped flower and thus the name "Bleeding Heart.

Western Bleeding Heart growing in rich forest humus, photographer Shari Brewer

You will find Western Bleeding Heart blooming in abundance in the Darrington area in early springtime through July.  It thrives in moist open forest, sometimes carpeting large areas and readily reseeds itself.  They range from western British Columbia to northern California in the lower elevation mountains to the south.