Family:
Papaveraceae
Toxins:
isoquinolone alkaloids irritants
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
Type:
herb
Found:
woodlands, gardens, ornamental

Time of Greatest Risk

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Geographical Distribution

Bleeding heart distribution - United States

Bleeding Heart

Dicentra spectabilis

Venus's Car, Lyre Flower
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Dicentra spectabilis, also known as bleeding heart, is a herbaceous perennial with distinctive dangling, pink w/ white heart-shaped flowers which resemble hearts. D. spectabilis is native to Japan, Korea and China, however it has been introduced worldwide as a popular ornamental plant for flower gardens in temperate climates, and is also used as a cut flower. Plants form a bushy, upright mound of light green foliage.
Bleeding heart toxic components horses


Toxic components
D. spectabilis contains several isoquinolone alkaloids, which if consumed in large enough quantities, can cause irritation to the horse's gastrointestinal system, leading to colic. D. spectabilis is also a contact-dermatitis causing plant, and is capable of causing mild contact dermatitis if horses' have repeated contact with the sap contained in the stem of the plant.