Bleeding heart has pinkish green, erect stem that can reach 47 inches in height and 18 inches in width.
Bleeding heart develops from the underground rhizome where it stores nutrients and energy required for development of leaves and flowers at the beginning of the spring.
Bleeding heart has bluish green compound leaves that consist of three leaflets. Bleeding heart is deciduous plant. It discards leaves at the end of the summer.
Bleeding heart develops pink, heart-shaped flowers (petals are white from the inside) with small, white, drop-like hanging part on the bottom side (hence the name "bleeding heart"). Flowers are arranged in horizontal clusters (raceme). Each cluster consists of around 20 flowers. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Bleeding heart blooms during the spring and summer. Flowers are rich source of nectar which attracts hummingbirds, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of bleeding heart is green seed pod filled with black seed.
Ants play important role in dispersal of seed of bleeding heart.
Each seed is equipped with elaiosome, white fleshy part that is rich source of lipids. Elaiosome is one of the favorite type of food for the ants. Ants collect seed, transport them to the anthills and consume elaiosome. They do not produce damage on the seed, which retains ability to germinate under the optimal environmental conditions.
Bleeding heart propagates via seed and root cuttings.
All parts of the plant are poisonous. Bleeding heart can easily induce skin irritation in humans and poisoning of cattle.
Bleeding hearts are food source for larvae of certain butterfly species, snails and aphids.