Dicentra formosa (Haw.) Walp.

westerm bleeding-heart

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Westerm bleeding-heart is native to the western states of the US. In New England it is known only from Massachusetts, where garden escapes may have naturalized. "Formosa" means "beautiful," which is an appropriate descriptor for its pale pink, heart-shaped flowers.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Flower petal color
  • blue to purple
  • white
  • yellow
Leaf type
the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
Flower symmetry
there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are four petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals
  • both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
  • the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
Stamen number
6
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Fruit length
14–20 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla palate
    no
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower petal color
    • blue to purple
    • white
    • yellow
    Flower reproductive parts
    the flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Form of style
    the style is lobed at the tip, and unbranched
    Fused stamen clusters
    there are two clusters of fused stamens
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    • both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
    • the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are all or nearly all arrayed on one side of the inflorescence axis or branches of the inflorescence
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has one or more nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    2
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    there are four petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    • the flower includes only one cycle of petals or sepals
    • the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal and sepal colors
    • blue to purple
    • white
    • yellow
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal length
    14–19 mm
    Petal nectaries
    the petals have at least one nectary
    Petal number
    4
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Scales inside corolla
    no
    Sepal and petal color
    the sepals are different from the petals
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal number
    2
    Stamen attachment
    the stamens are not attached to the petals or tepals
    Stamen number
    6
    Stamen position relative to petals
    the stamens are lined up with the petals
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are attached to one another at or near their bases
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Style petal-like
    the styles are not petal-like
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    NA
    Achene shape
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit length
    14–20 mm
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit shape
    the fruit is obloid (longer than wide and with rounded ends)
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Ovary stipe
    the ovary or fruit does not have a stipe
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has parietal placentation, where ovules develop on the wall or slight outgrowths of the wall forming broken partitions within a compound ovary
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is an herb (it has self-supporting stems)
    Horizontal rooting stem
    the plant does not have stolons
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or it has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or it has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct leaf stalk (petiole)
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    Leaf blade length
    200–500 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is triangular, with the stalk or attachment point on one of the sides
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf stalk attachment to leaf
    the petiole attaches at the basal margin of the leaf blade
    Leaf stalk base
    the petiole base is narrow where it attaches to the stem
    Leaf type
    the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
    Leaf variation
    NA
    Leaves per node
    the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (i.e., basal)
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Flowering stem cross-section
    • NA
    • the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles so that it is roughly circular
    Hairs between stem nodes
    the stem has no hairs between the nodes
    Leaves on stem
    the flowering stem has no leaves above the base
    Stem roughness between nodes
    • NA
    • the stem does not feel rough
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

ssp. formosa

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Dicentra eximia:
apex of inner petals exserted beyond the outer petals and often conspicuous, and plants not colonial (vs. D. formosa, with apex of inner petals not exserted beyond the outer petals and often partly concealed, and plant forming interconnected colonies by rhizome growth).

Synonyms

  • Capnorchis formosa (Haw.) Planch.;
  • Fumaria formosa Haw.

Family

Papaveraceae

Genus

Dicentra

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Dicentra formosa (Haw.) Walp. ssp. formosa E

western bleeding-heart. Capnorchis formosa (Haw.) Planch.; Fumaria formosa Haw. • MA. Fields, roadsides, gardens, areas of habitation.