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DICENTRA formosa 'Sweetheart'

Image of Dicentra formosa 'Sweetheart'

Family

Fumariaceae

Botanical Name

DICENTRA formosa 'Sweetheart'

Plant Common Name

Bleeding Heart, Sweetheart Bleeding Heart

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A selection of bleeding heart native to western North America, 'Sweetheart' is a low, spreading perennial prized for its feathery leaves and clusters of heart-shaped, pendent, white flowers. These blossoms are held above the leaves on stems that curl like a shepherd’s crook. The plant spreads by rhizomes (underground stems) to form a soft mound, and the flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. It spreads freely by seeds. The parent species is found in a range of conditions, but most often in shady spots, including woodlands, a clue to its favorite spot in a garden. In some regions, foliage dies away in late summer, reappearing from early winter to spring before again flowering.

Plant this frilly-leaved herbaceous perennial in moist, fertile, humus-rich soil in partial sun to partial shade. Use it as a groundcover under trees, or for early color and soft texture in a shade garden. For an elegant contrast of habit and texture, plant it with variegated Solomon’s seal and hostas. The white flowers set-off the normally pink blooms of other bleeding hearts or bluish hosta leaves in a woodland landscape.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    14"-18" / 35.6cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    24"-36" / 61.0cm - 91.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Western United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes