I am amazed at the variety of shapes and colors of flowers, and I find the shape of Bleeding Hearts especially intriguing. This non-native one (Dicentra spectabilis) brings back many fond memories of my grandmother and her delightful flower garden. The plants get 2-3 feet tall, and the dangling blossoms on arching stems remind me of a charm bracelet. The flowers appear in April and May, and the attractive foliage dies back in mid-summer.
Wild or Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) is native to much of the Eastern U.S., and is much shorter (about 15 inches). It also has attractive heart-shaped blossoms, and can grow in shade or sun. However, its fern-like foliage is attractive throughout the growing season, and if I remember to deadhead (remove the old blossoms) it will bloom throughout the summer.
A close-up reveals the beauty of the individual flowers.
I enjoy both of these plants. Although they are similar, their differences add variety to the backyard. The Wild Bleeding Heart is more versatile and provides interest throughout the summer. I plan to plant more of it.