PlantsBleeding Hearts→Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Dutchman's Breeches
Give a thumbs up Boy Britches
Give a thumbs up Butterfly Banners
Give a thumbs up Colic weed
Give a thumbs up Indian boys and girls
Give a thumbs up Kitten Breeches
Give a thumbs up White Hearts
Give a thumbs up Little blue staggers
Give a thumbs up Bleeding Heart

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet 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
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


Photo gallery:

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.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

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.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Plant Events from our members
aspenhill On April 11, 2018 Obtained plant
Black Creek Greenhouse - qty 6
aspenhill On April 1, 2017 Obtained plant
LWC Plant Sale (Nature by Design) - qty 3; HSG Area 6
aspenhill On May 9, 2015 Obtained plant
DG Ric and Holly (HollyAnnS) - qty 1
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Flowers and Hiking by laciloveswild18 Apr 8, 2021 6:24 PM 4
What else do we grow ( and see ?) in 2021 by Ursula Jun 12, 2021 6:23 PM 344
2021 - Let the Buying Frenzy Begin! by RickM Jan 3, 2021 6:55 AM 3
2020 Chicagoland Annual Plant Swap by pitimpinai Jun 10, 2020 12:11 PM 157
WTD: native spring ephemerals and... by UrbanWild Aug 20, 2019 11:48 PM 3
Starting Spring ephemerals in Kentucky by UrbanWild Jan 17, 2019 5:11 PM 2
recalcitrant and semi-recalcitrant* seeds by Leftwood Dec 3, 2019 6:57 AM 19
What else do we grow in 2018 by hawkarica Jan 1, 2019 8:49 AM 1,225
First Flowers of Spring 2017 by greenthumb99 May 26, 2017 5:35 PM 294
Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve, Conestoga (Lancaster County), Pennsylvania by csandt Apr 20, 2016 7:19 PM 3

« Add a new plant to the database

» Search the Bleeding Hearts Database: by characteristics or by cultivar name

« See the general plant entry for Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos)

« The Bleeding Hearts Database Front Page

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by Lucius93 and is called "Bulgarian Honey Garlic"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.