Bleeding Heart Flowers Meaning & Symbolism

Have you ever heard someone saying that they wear their heart on their sleeve? The bleeding heart flower outdoes all the other flowers when it comes to this. Did you know that almost every flower has a meaning, history, and something it symbolizes? So, what is the meaning of bleeding heart flowers, and what do they symbolize?

The bleeding heart flower holds a more profound meaning and focuses on emotions. Bleeding hearts symbolize passionate love, sensitivity, emotionality, compassion, and unconditional love. The meaning behind this flower is tied up with rejected love and two people having a spiritual connection. 

Most people look at bleeding heart flowers and think of a broken heart due to the hanging drop at the bottom of the flower, which could be interpreted as a drop of blood, and they are right to an extent, but bleeding heart flowers symbolize and mean so much more than that. Here’s all you need to know about the meaning and symbolism of bleeding heart flowers.

What Do Bleeding Heart Flowers Mean And Symbolize?

Previously known as Dicentra spectabilis and then Lamprocapnos spectabilis, with the common name being bleeding heart, this plant received its name due to its shape. It looks like a heart that is bleeding.

Furthermore, the name Dicentra means two spurs, which refers to the spikes protruding from the sides of this pillowy heart-shaped flower. Spectabilis means spectacular, meaning this flower is highly noticeable.

Bleeding hearts are flowers that have many different meanings in many other places worldwide. Different cultures interpret bleeding heart flowers in different ways. Generally, this plant means passionate love, wanting to tell someone how you feel, expressing your emotions, sensitivity, compassion, and rejection of love.

In Japanese folklore, there is a story about a prince who killed himself with his own sword when a fair maiden rejected his gifts of a pink bunny, luxurious slippers, and dangling earrings. The different petals and shapes of the flower represent those gifts.

Although the prince tried to win the maiden’s love with 20 different gifts, the maiden did not reciprocate the prince’s romantic feelings. When the prince died, the maiden cried, ‘my heart shall bleed for my prince forevermore.’

Although bleeding hearts symbolize romance and love in the language of flowers, they often symbolize spurned love in Eastern cultures. The flower serves to remind how unrequited love can be like a dagger to the heart.

When bleeding heart flowers are given to someone, they are often a bold move that symbolizes true love in British and American culture. These flowers symbolize speaking about what you feel when it comes to romance. They represent how one needs to express romantic feelings because people cannot read what is in your heart.

Bleeding hearts symbolize sharing what is in your heart even though the other person may not return those romantic feelings. They are a reminder that often sharing how you feel is better than being quiet and letting the greatest love of your life slip away.

Bleeding heart flowers are considered a bridge or a connection between life and death as they symbolize a spiritual connection that goes beyond life and death. Some cultures, particularly Christian groups, believe bleeding hearts are a reminder of compassion for many sufferings.

Bleeding heart flowers are often inserted in wedding bouquets or exchanged between couples to symbolize how love is being shared freely and how both people are willing to wear their hearts on their sleeves like the prince.

These flowers symbolize emotionality and sensitivity, particularly regarding romantic feelings. They represent how vulnerable and open you get when you tap into deep emotions to express your love and affection.

Bleeding Heart Colors Meaning And Symbolism.

There are three varieties of bleeding heart flowers: the pink flowering form, the white flowering form, the valentines red and white flowering form, and the gold heart with pretty gold leaves.

The pink bleeding heart flower symbolizes subtle love and kindness and the white bleeding heart flower represents innocence and purity. A white bleeding heart flower also symbolizes a beautiful woman that died tragically.

White bleeding heart flowers are rare compared to the other colors. The red bleeding heart flower unsurprisingly symbolizes strong romantic feelings and love.

The red and pink bleeding hearts also symbolize the love you had for someone but never got the chance to let them know and the sorrow you experience because of love that never had a chance to develop.

These flowers generally symbolize deep feelings and can therefore be gifted to people that represent this feeling, such as family members, spouses, or dear friends.

What Is The History Of The Bleeding Heart Flower?

Native to China and Japan, the bleeding heart was brought to England by a plant hunter from the royal horticultural society in the 1840s. Several years later, the first bleeding hearts made an appearance in North America and Europe.

The bleeding heart became popular in America by being given as a gift for Valentine’s Day. The flower seems fitting going by its name and how Valentine’s Day is all about red, with white making an appearance.

What Do Bleeding Heart Tattoos Symbolize?

Bleeding heart flowers are not only stunning as tattoos due to their unique shape, but they are often gotten as tattoos to commemorate the death of loved ones. They also symbolize unconditional love that is as deep as the oceans.

The bleeding heart’s poetic appearance has led to a tattoo that also represents other deep emotions like compassion. Tattoos are often white bleeding heart flowers as they symbolize the remembrance of loved ones.


Each spring, the plant’s uniquely shaped blooms dangle from fragile, gracefully arching stems that sway in the breeze. The stunning flower has many meanings, mainly relating to heartbreak. Bleeding hearts are quintessential spring bloomers that everybody loves.

Bleeding hearts are timeless beauties that symbolize matters of the heart, from unconditional love to sorrow. These flowers are an excellent way to communicate romantic feelings when you prefer actions to words.