Dicentra Benth.

(excl. Lamprocapnos)

Dicentra is a relatively small genus indigenous in temperate North America and eastern Asia. In its traditional sense it counts ca. 20 species (Cullen 1995b, Stern 1997) but recent molecular studies have changed the generic circumscription (Lidén & al. 1997). Some aberrant species are now accommodated in segregate genera. One of these, Lamprocapnos, includes the popular garden plant L. spectabilis (syn.: Dicentra spectabilis). Most authors now accept this changed taxonomy (including Euro+Med Plantbase, Stace 2010; see, however, Jäger & al. 2008). Mabberley (2008) refers to the segregate genus Ehrendorferia Fukuhara (erroneously as ‘Ehrendorfia’) but does not mention Lamprocapnos. More recent molecular studies within Fumarieae (see Pérez-Gutiérrez & al. 2012) did not focus on Dicentra and related genera. The remainder of Dicentra includes ca. 12 species in North America, eastern Siberia and Japan (Lidén & al. 1997).

Dicentra in a strict sense still accommodates several horticulturally important species (see for instance Tebbitt & al. 2008). At least one, Dicentra formosa, has been recorded as an escape from cultivation.


Berg R.Y. (1969) Adaptation and evolution in Dicentra (Fumariaceae), with special reference to seed, fruit, and dispersal mechanism. Nytt Mag. Bot. 16: 49-75.

Fahselt D. & Ownbey M. (1968) Chromatographic comparison of Dicentra species and hybrids. Amer. J. Bot. 55: 334-345.

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Lidén M. (1986) Synopsis of Fumarioideae (Papaveraceae) with a monograph of the tribe Fumarieae. Opera Bot. 88: 1-133.

Lidén M., Fukuhara T., Rylander J. & Oxelman B. (1997) Phylogeny and classification of Fumariaceae, with emphasis on Dicentra s. l. based on the rps 16 intron. Pl. Syst. Evol. 206: 411-420.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Pérez-Gutiérrez M.A., Romero-García A.T., Salinas M.J., Blanca G., Fernández M.C. & Suárez-Santiago V.N. (2012) Phylogeny of the tribe Fumarieae (Papaveraceae s.l.) based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences: Evolutionary and biogeographic implications. Amer. J. Bot. 99: 517-528.

Stace C. (2010) New flora of the British Isles, 3th ed.: XXXII + 1232 p. Cambridge University Press.

Stern K.R. (1961) Revision of Dicentra (Fumariaceae). Brittonia 13: 1-57.

Stern K.R. (1962) The use of pollen morphology in the taxonomy of Dicentra. Amer. J. Bot. 49: 362-368.

Stern K.R. (1983) Pacific bleeding hearts and their relatives. Fremontia 10(4): 14-18.

Stern K.R. (1997) Dicentra. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America, vol. 3. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 341-347.

Stern K.R. & Ownbey M. (1971) Hybridization and cytotaxonomy of Dicentra. Amer. J. Bot. 58: 861-866.

Tebbitt M., Lidén M. & Zetterlund H. (2008) Bleeding hearts, Corydalis and their relatives. Timber Press.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith