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Dicentra eximia - (Ker Gawl.) Torr.

Common Name Dwarf bleeding heart, turkey-corn
Family Papaveraceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards Fatal in large quantities. Symptoms include: trembling, staggering, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and labored breathing. Skin irritation after repeated contact with the cell sap is mild and short-lasting.
Habitats Forest and mountain areas from New York to Georgia and Tennessee growing on forest floors, rocky woods and ledges on rocky soils in the Appalachian Mountains. Shade-loving.
Range Native to the Eastern North America - Appalachian Mountains.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Dicentra eximia Dwarf bleeding heart, turkey-corn

Dicentra eximia Dwarf bleeding heart, turkey-corn
Kurt Stüber wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Dicentra eximia is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. The flowers are pollinated by Birds, Bees, Insects.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bicuculla eximia (Ker Gawl.) Millsp. Bikukulla eximia (Ker Gawl.) Druce. Capnorchis eximia (Ker Gawl.) Planch. Capnorchis eximia (Ker Gawl.) Kuntze. Corydalis eximia (Ker Gawl.). Diclytra eximia (Ker Gawl.) DC. Dielytra eximia (Ker Gawl.) G.Don. Eucapnos eximius (Ker Gawl.) Bernh. Fumaria eximia Ker Gawl. Fumaria formosa Poir.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None Known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
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Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
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Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

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Other Uses

Groundcover: A medium density moderately good groundcover for shade and semi-shade. Colonizes very slowly through rhizomes. Wildlife Food: The nectar is sought by hummingbirds. Wildlife Habitat: Provides cover for small wildlife. Insectory: Attracts beneficial insects [318-1]. Good companion plants include; Jacobs Ladder and Wild Columbine. Cut Flowers. Ornamental: Ornamental foliage and flowers. The foliage is deeply cut and fern-like, and does not die back like the common bleeding heart. Flowers are shades of pink and white and heart shaped [318-1].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Ground Cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

An herbaceous perennial growing well in semi-shade. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 - 9. Soil pH: 5.5 - 7.0. Life Span: Long-Lived Perennial. Stand Persistence: Long. Form: Upright. Texture: Fine. Sun: Partial Shade, Shade. Soil Type: Loamy, Silty. Soil Moisture: Moderate. Minimum Root Depth: 6 inches (15cm). Root Type: Rhizome, Fibrous Shallow. Fungal Types: Endomycorrhizal. Seasonal Interest: Summer. Will tolerate full sun if given sufficient moisture. Requires rich well-drained soil. Flowering may stop in areas with very hot weather. Will not go dormant in midsummer like the Common Bleeding Heart as long as the soil is kept moist. Tolerant of proximity to black walnut trees. Fruit Type: Capsule. Flower Color: Pink, Red, White. Drought: Sensitive. Flood: Intolerant. Salt: Intolerant. Soil Compaction: Sensitive. Mowing: Intolerant. Cold Injury: Infrequent. Disease Issues: Minor. Insect/Pest Damage: Minor. Animal Damage: Deer, Rabbits. Growing Season: Cool. Bloom Time: Late Spring - Early Fall. Fruit Time: Fall - Winter [318-1]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Wild bleeding-heart, Fringed bleeding-heart, turkey-corn, Fernleaf Bleeding Heart

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available


Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Dicentra canadensisSquirrel CornPerennial0.2 4-8  LMFSM12 
Dicentra cucullariaDutchman's BreechesPerennial0.1 5-9 MLMFSM02 
Dicentra spectabilisBleeding Heart, Japanese Bleeding Heart, Common Bleeding HeartPerennial0.6 3-9 MLMSNM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Ker Gawl.) Torr.

Botanical References

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