Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) in the Bleeding Hearts Database

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Plant Height: 6 to 10 inches (15-25cm)
Plant Spread: 6 to 10 inches (15-25cm)
Leaves: Spring ephemeral
Other: Fernlike divided leaves.
Fruit: Other: Long thin pod with round black seeds. Seeds have white growths (elaiosomes), which are eaten by ants.
Fruiting Time: Spring
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
White
Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Tuber
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Toxicity: Other: may cause skin irritation
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: Requires a warm, moist period, then a cold, moist period, followed by cool temperatures for germination and growth.
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Seeds are hydrophilic
Other info: Keep seed moist. To start seeds indoors, place in pot. Put the pot in a plastic bag and place in the freezer for 6-8 weeks. Remove the pot after that time and allow to germinate and grow in regular seedling conditions.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Other: After leaves begin to go dormant, dig up the root stock, break off a few bulblets, and replant. Each will sprout a leaf the next spring, and if all goes well, will flower after a few years.
Pollinators: Bumblebees
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant

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Comments:
Posted by threegardeners (Brockville, Ontario, Canada - Zone 5a) on May 2, 2012 9:49 AM

Dutchman's Breeches are one of the early spring ephemerals. All traces of these plants are gone by late summer.
The flower shape gives Dutchman's Breeches its common name.
An Ontario native plant.
4 to 8 inches tall.
Leaves are greyish green and hairless.
Plants prefer dappled shade in woodland settings.

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Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on May 9, 2016 11:20 AM

The root is a cluster of tiny tubers on a straight rootstock. They are typically called bulblets, but that's simply because there's no word for miniature tuber. The tubers can be broken off and replanted, and the next year they will sprout their own leaves. They take a few years before they are big enough to bloom.

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