Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s Breeches)

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Scientific Name

Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh.

Common Names

Dutchman’s Breeches

Synonyms

Dicentra cucullaria var. cucullaria, Dicentra cucullaria f. cucullaria, Bicuculla cucullaria, Bicuculla occidentalis, Bicucullata canadensis, Bikukulla cucullaria, Capnorchis americana, Capnorchis cucullaria, Capnorchis occidentalis, Corydalis bracteosa, Dicentra occidentalis, Diclytra bracteosa, Diclytra canadensis, Diclytra cucullaria, Dielytra bracteosa, Dielytra cucullaria, Fumaria bicalcarata, Fumaria cucullaria, Fumaria pallida

Scientific Classification

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

Flower

Color: White
Bloom Time: Early spring

Description

Dicentra cucullaria is an easily recognized, graceful, early spring, wildflower which typically grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, with the flower stems and basal leaves rising directly from a scaly rootstock. Features deeply-cut, fern-like, grayish-green foliage and racemes of waxy, white (infrequently tinged with pink), yellow-tipped flowers shaped like pantaloons with the ankles upward (hence the common name). Flowers are borne in a row drooping from leafless stems arching above the foliage in early spring.

Photo via wikipedia.org

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

In a moist and cool climate, Bleeding Heart will grow in full sun, 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 prefer a 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

Origin

Native to rich woods of eastern North America, with a disjunct population in the Columbia Basin.

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