Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ephemerals, Bulbs
Light Requirements: part-shade, shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, loam, sand
Bloom Time: April, May
Bloom Color: white, pink
Leaf Color: green, blue-green, gray-green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7
Additional Tags: ephemeral, fragrant flowers, medicinal, ornamental foliage, poisonous, shade garden plant, woodland plant
Pricing & Availability
Dicentra canadensisAlso known as:
Dicentra canadensis is a native, diminutive, dainty and fragrant relative of the common bleeding heart. Racemes of white to pinkish, heart-shaped flowers appear above the fern-like foliage, reaching no more than a foot off the ground. Leaves may be blueish or grayish. They are finely toothed and divided. Squirrel corn is ephemeral and goes dormant late spring after flowering.
This species of Dicentra can be found in deciduous open woods and will grow best in part-shade or dappled light. Squirrel corn prefers light, moist, acidic, humus-rich soil. It is ideal for shade gardens where it will provide early interest. Because it is ephemeral, it may be combined with later emerging perennials. Blooms mid spring: April-May. Zones 4-7
It is easiest to propagate by transplanting the small tubers that grow on the rootstock when the plant goes dormant. It can also be propagated by seed as soon as they ripen. Collected seeds should be sown when the weather cools down in fall, or late winter/early spring after the last frost.
Dicentra canadensis earned the common name squirrel corn because the small yellow tubers it produces somewhat resemble corn kernels, and are a favorite of squirrels and other small rodents. All parts of this species are poisonous, but toxic only if ingested in large quantities. The tubers have been used to produce diuretics and tonics, as well as to treat a variety of chronic skin affections.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: NJ
- Threatened: CT, ME, NH
|Species||Dicentra canadensis||squirrel corn|