Content Detail

Common bleeding heart is an early-blooming perennial for shady sites. The delicate, pink, heart-shaped flowers hang on long arching stems. These plants often go dormant (dieback to the ground) when the heat of summer comes, so plant longer-lasting perennials around them.

  • Family (English) Poppy
  • Family (botanic) Papaveraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring, late spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded
  • Growth rate Fast


Common bleeding heart grows 18 to 24 inches high and wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

This plant is native to Asia.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Alternate light green leaves are compound and deeply dissected. Leaves will die down to the ground in the heat of summer.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Pink, heart-shaped flowers bloom on arching stems.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The fruit is inconspicuous and not ornamentally important.

Plant care: 

Good plant for shade gardens and in woodland settings. Leaves will die down to the ground in the heat of summer, so plant other perennials nearby to fill in the space that is left. Needs consistent moisture.


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