These photographs are from early June near Cook and Green Pass in northern California, which was a bit of a surprise as I usually associate Pacific bleeding-heart with April and early May hundreds of kilometres north in the Vancouver area. Elevation was a factor (about 2000ft / 600m compared to Vancouver’s near sea-level), but more important was that these plants (and other typical spring flowers) were growing and blooming in the shade of a north-facing rocky wall.
Dicentra formosa ranges from southern British Columbia to California. There are two subspecies, Dicentra formosa subsp. formosa (shown in today’s photos) and the southwest Oregon/northwest California Dicentra formosa subsp. oregana. The latter is quite distinct from the type subspecies, with cream-coloured flowers, more glaucous foliage, and a more robust growth habit among the differences.
Pacific bleeding-heart is a common ornamental of shade gardens. A number of cultivated selections and hybrids have been made, including the wine-red flowered Dicentra formosa ‘Bacchanal’. Wikipedia lists a number of other garden taxa: Dicentra formosa.