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Dicentra cucullaria.png
Dicentra cucullaria (type species)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Dicentra

See text.


Diclytra Borkh. nom. rej.[1]
Dielytra = orthographic variant of Diclytra[1]
Possible synonyms:[2] Lamprocapnos Endl.
Ehrendorferia Fukuhara & Lidén
Ichtyoselmis Lidén & Fukuhara

Dicentra (bleeding-heart; Greek dís "twice", kéntron "spur") is a genus of 8 species of perennial herbaceous plants in the family Papaveraceae, native to eastern Asia and North America.


Flowers have two tiny sepals and four petals. The flowers are bisymmetric: the two outer petals are spurred or pouched at the base and curved outwards or backwards at the tip, and the two inner ones are straight and connected at the tip. In Dicentra, all leaves are in a basal rosette and flowers are on leafless stalks. In other genera with bisymmetric heart-shaped flowers (Lamprocapnos, Dactylicapnos, Ichtyoselmis, Ehrendorferia), leaves grow on flower stalks as well as from the base. Each of the two compound stamens is composed of one median and two lateral half stamens fused together. The stamens and pistil are held between the inner petals.

Seeds with elaiosomes are borne in long pods.

All parts are poisonous if ingested.


Hybrids and cultivars[edit]

There are several hybrids and cultivars involving Dicentra eximia, Dicentra formosa, and Dicentra peregrina, including:

  • Dicentra 'Aurora' — Dicentra formosa × Dicentra eximia — white flowers
  • Dicentra 'Bacchanal' — Dicentra formosa cultivar — deep red
  • Dicentra 'Ivory Hearts' — Dicentra peregrina × Dicentra eximia 'Alba' — white
  • Dicentra 'King of Hearts' — Dicentra peregrina × (Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana × Dicentra eximia)
  • Dicentra 'Luxuriant' — Dicentra eximia × Dicentra peregrina

Hybrids involving Dicentra peregrina are often intolerant of hot-humid climates and sun like the species itself.

Former species[edit]

The genera Dactylicapnos, Ichtyoselmis, Ehrendorferia and Lamprocapnos were previously included as subgenera in Dicentra, but have been shown not to belong in this genus (see for example Flora of China web page)



  1. ^ a b International Plant Names Index
  2. ^ GRIN taxonomy
  • Bleeding hearts, Corydalis, and their relatives. Mark Tebbitt, Magnus Lidén, and Henrik Zetterlund. Timber Press. 2008. — Google Books

External links[edit]