The Dutchmans Breeches is botanically known as Dicentra cucullaria and is a part of the Papaveraceae family. This is an early spring plant that is a native wildflower in some areas of the United States. In the wild, the flowers can be found growing in the forest, in rocky areas, on slopes, in ravines, and along streams. The plant grows best in zones 3 through 7. The plant when mature reaches 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches wide. Some floral experts compare its flower and foliage to a bleeding heart because the flowers have a similar pattern of growth and shape. The flowers on the plant are white in color with yellow centers that are easily seen. The plant derived its name Dutchmans Breeches because of the flower shape looking like upside down pants and is called spurs. The flowers blossom up the stem of the plant and bloom in early to mid-spring. The plant has fern-like foliage with the leaves having deep splits giving them the appearance of a fern. When the flowers are done blooming the foliage remains until it changes from a grayish green to a pale yellow. Planted in the right spot this plant takes little maintenance and the best conditions for the flower is partial shade and humus soil or a moist acidic soil. The soil should be able to remain dry when the plant is dormant. This plant in the right location can spread fast since new plants grow from the underground tuber root system. Planting this flower in the garden or landscaping should be done with the room for it to expand. It may be planted by a walkway or driveway if the soil is right and partial sunlight. This is a plant that may not transplant well from the wild and may not grow good when planted by seeds.
Dutchmans Breeches- Dicentra cucullaria- Papaveraceae family
Dutchmans Breeches with the botanical name Dicentra cucullaria a wildflower that is part of the Papaveraceae family and Dicentra clan. This is a plant that grows in zones 3 through 7 and can be called Staggerweed. It is at home growing on slopes or rocky locations and grows near squirrel corn. The plant reaches 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches in width getting white flowers referred to as spurs that have a yellow stamen. The flowers have a resemblance to bleeding hearts and are often called the wild bleeding heart, which is also from the Dicentra clan. The leaves of the plant are fern-like in appearance that have deep slits. The leaves are a gray green and will change to a pale yellow after the plant stops blossoming. The plant has stems that shoot up with the flowers growing up them rather than clumped at the top and bloom in early spring. This plant likes acidic soil and it likes partial shade making it a good plant to place at the end of a garden in shaded areas or near woodlands when landscaping. The plant spreads by underground tubers and likes moist to dry soil. In the right location, the plant can spread quickly and should have ample growing room. If the plant needs to be split up it must be done during its dormant season. This is a plant that can be toxic if eaten causing convulsions and a staggering gait if eaten by animals and got the name Staggerweed because of cattle eating the plant. It may be wise to wear gloves when maintaining the plants and while they need little care the tops can be cut down with a weedeater after the blooms are finished for the season leaving the fern-like foliage that will have a nice appearance until the plant goes dormant.