Ehrendorferia ochroleuca (Engelm.) Fukuhara

Bleeding Hearts
Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)


Bleeding hearts, aka ear-drops or fire hearts, is an erect, glaucous, several-stemmed perennial herb growing to 6' tall with most of the leaves near the base of the plant. Anyone who is familiar with California poppy herbage would probably recognize this as a member of the poppy family, the leaves being 3-pinnate and deeply dissected into many fine linear, almost feathery, green segments.  The flowers are cream to white colored with petal tips that are tinged with purple and are crowded in dense clusters. Each somewhat flattened flower has two sepals that are deciduous at anthesis, and four petals in two pairs, the outer ones larger and spreading at the tips, and the inner ones shorter, rounder, and fused at the tip to form a protective cover over the six stamens and single pistil.  Bleeding hearts grows on dry slopes and disturbed ground in chaparral below 3000' from the Santa Ana Mts to the Santa Ynez and Santa Lucia Mts, blooming from May to July.  It is also a notable fire follower.  These pictures were taken in the Santa Monica Mts.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Ehrendorferia 2) ochroleuca.
Pronunciation: er-en-dorf-er-EE-a oke-ro-LYU-ka.
Formerly Dicentra ochroleuca.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.