Page author: David Giblin
Dicentra formosa
Pacific bleedingheart

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington, but also occurring from southeastern Washington; British Columbia to California, also in northeastern Oregon and adjacent Idaho.

Habitat: Moist woods, from the coast to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: March-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, hummingbirds


Somewhat glaucous, scapose perennial from slender, brittle rhizomes, the scapes 1.5-4.5 dm. tall.


Leaves basal, numerous, long-petioled, nearly equaling the scapes, the blades ternately 3-4 times compound into ultimately linear to oblong segments.


Inflorescence of 5- to 15-flowered panicles on the scapes; sepals 2, ovate-lanceolate, 3-5 mm. long; corolla purplish-pink, 4-lobed, cordate-based, the outer lobes each with a saccate spur 2-4 mm. long, the tips 3-4 mm. long, the inner lobes 10-15 mm. long with a winged crest; stamens 6, in two groups of 3; style 1, slender; stigmas 2-lobed.


Capsule 2-3.5 cm. long and 3-4 mm. thick.

Accepted Name:
Dicentra formosa (Haw.) Walp.
Publication: Repert. Bot. Syst. 1: 118. 1842.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Dicentra saccata (Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray) Walp.
Fumaria formosa Haw.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Dicentra formosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Dicentra formosa checklist entry

OregonFlora: Dicentra formosa information

E-Flora BC: Dicentra formosa atlas page

CalPhotos: Dicentra formosa photos

57 photographs:
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