Wild bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia), also called fringed bleeding heart, thrives in eastern shade gardens. This evergreen perennial forms clumps of fern-like foliage that stand 1 to 2 feet tall. The heart-shaped flowers have a longer bloom season than cultivated varieties.
The flowers are followed by green seed capsules. When mature, the seeds are black and shiny. Allow them to mature completely on the plant. Freshly collected seeds germinate readily. Dried seeds need cold-moist stratification to germinate well. Store fresh seeds in moist sphagnum in a sealed container and plant them as soon as possible.
Stratify dried seeds in a container of moist sand. Periodically move the container between the refrigerator and freezer over a period of four weeks. Seeds planted outdoors in fall don’t need stratification.
Plant the seeds in partial shade. The plants need a location with well-drained, fertile soil. Plant in fall or spring, covered with a light layer of soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.