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Dicentra cucullaria

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ephemerals, Bulbs

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: neutral, rich, average

Height: 6"-18"

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: white, yellow, pink

Leaf Color: green, gray-green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: colonizing, deer resistant, ephemeral, fragrant flowers, naturalizing, poisonous, shade garden plant

Flower of Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)
  • Flower of Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)
  • Flower of Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)
  • Flower of Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)
  • Flower of Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

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Description

Dicentra cucullaria

Also known as:

dutchman's breeches

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Bicuculla cucullaria, Dicentra occidentalis

Description

This species of Dicentra will produce a dense, yet airy array of finely divided, fern-like, grayish-green leaves. The intriguingly shaped flowers appear in clusters at the ends of leafless stalks. Bloom color is white with yellowish or pinkish hues. The flowers are also lightly fragrant. Dicentra cucullaria is a very graceful and elegant small woodland plant.

Cultivation

Best grown in filtered light and rich, moist well drained soil, dutchman's breeches will tolerate more sun in cooler areas. The plant is ephemeral which means that the foliage will completely die back in summer. Hotter, drier or sunnier conditions will hasten this process. Overly wet winter conditions can promote root rot. Combine with later emerging perennials. Blooms in early spring. Zones 3-7

Propagation

Propagate by separating tubers when the plant is dormant in spring or fall. May also be propagated from seed. If the seeds have been stored, they should be cold stratified before sowing.

Additional Notes

All parts of the plant are toxic, but only if ingested in large quantities.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Papaverales
Family Fumariaceae Fumitory family
Genus Dicentra bleeding heart
Species Dicentra cucullaria dutchman's breeches