Car tips bleeding heart plant

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Car tips bleeding heart plant

The heart bleeding-heart plant (Dysosma versipellis) is a species of herbaceous perennial growing from a deep taproot, it is native to many parts of North America, such as prairies, meadows, dunes, sandy shorelines and coastal slopes, but it is now also found on road verges in many other countries. It has slender, evergreen, hairy stems up to tall. The leafy stems carry 1–3 large purple flowers with six petals in early spring and yellowing in autumn. This plant is related to lilies. It was first named D. alata by Linnaeus in 1753.

It may occur in any well-drained soil in full sun, tolerating both salt and dry air. The soil is enriched with sand and is free from limestone. The roots are large, and the plant can be found growing close to the surface of the soil. Like most plants, the heart bleeding-heart has a very short dormancy period of around 8 to 10 weeks in spring.


The plants are sometimes cultivated as ground cover in rockeries, dry flowerbeds, and borders, however, they grow best in sandy and loamy soils that drain well, without lime. It can grow in the greenhouse as a flowering houseplant but it does not tolerate very high temperatures.


The seeds germinate easily and should be sown in September. They can be started in seed flats or pots but are usually sown directly in the garden. They are then sown either in April or late May. Seeds require light for germination but once they have sprouted, the seedlings can be grown in the shade. Once the new plants grow leaves, they should be placed in full sun.

Propagation can be by seed (slowest method), or cuttings. The best time for propagation is autumn to early spring.The cuttings should be placed in water or taken to a dry area until there are two leaves. They should then be taken into a cold frame or greenhouse where they can be left for a month or two. This will give them a cold period which helps the roots to form and grow. If the cuttings are placed in a large pot with compost, they will become rooted over the course of a few weeks. Once rooted, they can be moved to a sunny position in the garden.



The common weevil can sometimes cause problems on heart bleeding-heart but, as with most plants, this is a rare occurrence. The young leaves are also susceptible to aphids but, again, this is very rare.

Medical uses

The medicinal properties of the heart-leaved bleeding-heart have been known since ancient times. Early herbalists believed it to be a good fever remedy. It has a reputation for aiding digestion and the liver and as a treatment for rheumatism, nervous exhaustion and chest complaints. The leaves have a high percentage of calcium (25.3% dry weight) and vitamin C (9.2%). Blood-heart is used to make soap, oil, balms, lotions, salves, and ointments. The plant is a rich source of Vitamin C and essential minerals. The roots were traditionally used to treat rheumatism. The plant also contains essential oils such as α- and β-pinene, myrcene, limonene, and linalool. The essential oils are useful in soap and perfumes.



'Little Hardy Heart-leaved' is not really a hardy plant and should be grown in a greenhouse.

'Nelson Silver Heart-leaved'


External links

UK National Vegetation Scheme - Common Weeping-heart (Dichelostemma capitatum)


Category:Medicinal plants of South Africa

Category:Medicinal plants of Southern Africa

Category:Flora of the Cape Provinces

Category:Garden plants

Category:Least concern plants

Category:Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus



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  2. Cyneley

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  3. Dante

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