Pacific bleeding heart, Western bleeding heart
North California, west Oregon, west Washington
Moist locations; meadows, streambanks, open woodland
Bright green, fern-like, finely divided; pinnate and compound, with each component 1 to 2 inches long
Dicentra formosa is an elegant plant, with delicate, fern-like leaves at the base, and clusters of beautiful pink flowers at the end of a prominent, leafless stalk. Each flower is a little less than an inch in length and has an elongated heart shape, pendent, formed of four pale pink petals with darker tips, pointing outwards slightly to expose the white stamens within. In north California and Oregon the plant may have white, cream or yellow flowers and greyish-green leaves (var oregana), and there are also a number of cultivated varieties where the flowers have other colors.