Family: Fumariaceae

Scientific Name: Dicentra cucullaria

Common Name: Dutchman's Breeches


Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) A beautiful spring blooming ephemeral wildflower with a soft feathery appearance and the white to pale pink flowers hanging from a thin stalk add to the charm of this wildflower

Plant TypeWild Flowers, Perennials Hardy
Sunlightshaded, deciduous forests
Soil & Siterich, humus rich, slightly acid to neutral ph 6.0-7.0
FlowersThe white sometimes faintly pink are 5/8-3/4 inch. The legs are formed by two inflated outer petals. Usually 3-7 flowers are found on the nodding stalk which arises from the root. Flowers are held above the foliage. Blooms April through May. This plant is pollinated in the early spring by Bumblebees. They have mouth parts long enough to get deep into the flower and reap the rewards of the nectar.
Fruitoblong fruit that splits along the center when ripe
Leavescompound leaves, deeply cut, arise from the rootstock, greenish-gray to bluish, soft feathery texture
Rootsroots are poisonous.
Dimensionsaround 10" tall
Propagationdivision of the crown and roots
Misc FactsThe genus name Dicentra is derived from the Greek word meaning two spurs. The species name refers to having sides or apex recurred inward to form a hood. Important as a bumblebee food source. AKA; Bicuculla cucullaria, Dicentra cucullaria var. occidentalis, Dicentra occidentalis, Dutchmans Britches
Author's NotesI have seen this plant growing in small drifts in ephemeral plant sites. These sites are full sun, spring, and shade as the leaves on the trees fill out.
Notes & Reference#13-Growing Woodland Wildflowers, #41-Wildflowers of Wisconsin, #61-How to Recognize Wildflowers, #62-Northwoods Wildflowers, #115-Bleeding Hearts, Cordylis and Their Relatives (Mark Tebbit, Magnus Liden, Henrik Zetterlund)
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