Why plant Bleedinghearts in your garden?

If you have a garden, you’ve likely heard about the value of planting native species. You may also have wondered how native species can be beneficial. Here’s an example of a common local native species (Pacific Bleedinghearts, Dicentra formosa ssp. formosa) and how it can make a difference to you and our pollinators.

  1. It blooms early, long, and late. The cheerful pink flowers appear in early April and can continue to bloom into November (!).
  2. As a native plant it is tolerant: it can thrive in full sun or shade and does not need extra water.
  3. It naturalizes (spreads) easily and quickly to fill an area, but is also easy to remove if necessary because the rhizomes are shallow.
  4. It is beloved of long-tongued bumble bees like Bombus flavifrons (the Yellow-fronted Bumble Bee).
  5. It is a host plant for a beautiful butterfly, Parnassius clodius ssp. claudianus (Claudianus Parnassian) which takes flight in July through August.
  6. It is easy to share with friends who want to include it in their gardens, because it transplants easily.

Six great reasons to plant native Bleedinghearts in your garden!

Please remember that the Estuary and our parks are protected areas and, as such, plants are not to be collected there. Here’s a link from the Davdi Suzuki Foundation to lots of information about how to ethically introduce native plants into your garden.

These photos were taken in a local garden. The Claudianus Parnassian butterfly was on the lawn, less than two metres from a patch of Bleedinghearts so could possibly have matured there. Yellow-fronted Bumble Bees frequent the garden all spring and summer and don’t have a lot of competition for the Bleedinghearts because a long tongue is needed to feed from them.