Bleeding heart Facts

Bleeding heart Facts
Bleeding heart is herbaceous plant that belongs to the poppy family. It originates from Asia, but it can be found around the world today. Bleeding heart was introduced to Europe and North America during the 19th century, where it instantly gained popularity because of its beautiful flowers and decorative leaves. Bleeding hearts can be found in the moist forests. It grows on the well-drained, fertile soil, in areas that provide direct sunlight (in cold climates) or partial shade (in warm areas). Cultivation of bleeding heart requires minimal effort and ensures nicely decorated garden for years. That's why bleeding heart is one of the most popular ornamental plants on the planet.
Interesting Bleeding heart Facts:
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.
Root of bleeding heart can be used in treatment of painful sprains and bruises.
Native Americans used bleeding hearts in treatment of cough, stomach pain, dizziness and insect bites.
Bleeding heart tolerates drought and it is fire resistant.
Certain varieties of bleeding heart produce golden yellow or fern-like leaves. There are also cultivars of bleeding heart that produce white flowers.
Bleeding heart is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

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