Pacific bleeding-heart is a perennial herbaceous plant. Its leaves are three to four times divided and fern-like, growing from a brittle rhizome at the base of the plant. It grows to 18 in (45 cm) tall by 24 in (60 cm) wide. The flowers are pink, red, or white and heart-shaped and bloom in clusters of 5 to 15 at the top of leafless, fleshy stems above the leaves from mid-spring to autumn, with peak flowering in spring. The four petals are attached at the base. The two outer petals form a pouch at the base and curve outwards at the tips. The two inner petals are perpendicular to the outer petals and connected at the tip. There are two tiny, pointed sepals behind the petals. Seeds are borne in plump, pointed pods. The plant self-seeds readily. It frequently goes dormant for the summer after flowering, emerging and flowering again in autumn. The Pacific bleeding-heart is frequently confused with the fringed bleeding-heart (Dicentra eximia) and sold under that name.