Stems: from the apex of thick, almost naked, creeping rootstocks. Leaves: twice or thrice ternately compound, the ultimate divisions narrow and incisely pinnatifid. Flowers: pale magenta, in compound racemes at summit of scapes; corolla ovate-cordate, with connivent spurs; petals united up to and above the middle.
This plant resembles, in miniature, the lovely pink and white Bleeding-heart so popular in old-fashioned gardens; but its dull magenta-pink flowers are not nearly so attractive in appearance as those of its beautiful cultivated cousin. The only charm of the wild species lies in the grace of its slender stems, which bear numerous pendent heart-shaped blossoms along their drooping lengths, and its finely dissected foliage.
Dicentra nniilora, or One-flowered Bleeding-heart, has soft green leaves which are ternately divided, the three to seven divisions pinnatifid into a few spatulate lobes. The scapes grow only three to five inches high from a close bundle of spindle-shaped and perpendicular fleshy tubers; they are bracted, and one, or rarely two-flowered. The creamy pink flowers have two small scale-like sepals, and the two outer petals are gibbous-saccate at the base, their recurving tips much longer than the body, while the small hollowed tips of the two inner spoon-shaped petals are united at the apex, and form the cavity containing the anthers and stigma.