Dicentra canadensis (Squirrel Corn)

Scientific Name

Dicentra canadensis (Goldie) Walp.

Common Names

Squirrel Corn


Corydalis canadensis, Bicuculla canadensis, Bikukulla canadensis, Capnorchis canadensis, Diclytra canadensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Fumarioideae
Tribe: Fumarieae
Subtribe: Corydalinae
Genus: Dicentra


Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Mid-spring to fall


Dicentra canadensis is a herbaceous perennial plant, up to 12 inches (30 cm), with small, yellow clustered bulblets, looking roughly like kernels of corn, finely dissected leaves, and white heart-shaped flowers. It is a spring ephemeral, leafing out and flowering in spring and going dormant in summer.

Dicentra canadensis - Squirrel Corn
Photo via elizabethswildflowerblog.com


USDA hardiness zone 3a to 8b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Bleeding Heart will grow in full sun in a moist and cool climate, but in warmer and drier climates, it requires some shade. Keep plants well-watered throughout the summer, especially in warmer weather. Even then, they may be ephemeral and disappear until the fall or next spring. If you've recently planted your Bleeding Heart, it would be wise to mark the spot, so you don't accidentally dig in the area while your plant is dormant. It prefers rich, moist soil but are not particular about soil pH. Bleeding Heart is not a heavy feeder, so when to fertilize depends on the quality of your soil. If you have rich, organic soil that is amended every year, you won't have to feed at all.

They can be started from seed, division, cutting, or seedling. It is very easy to divide Bleeding Heart plants. It should be divided after flowering, so you don't sacrifice bloom. The fringed-leaf varieties divide nicely early in spring, as they are emerging. It can also be started by seed or stem cuttings… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Bleeding Heart.


Native to deciduous woodland in eastern North America.


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