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Plant Description


Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh.

En: turkey corn, soldier's cap, Dutchman's breeches
Fr: dicentre à capuchon
Oj: ojidimo miskishmandaumin

Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Dicentra cucullariahab Dicentra cucullariaflpl Dicentra cucullariainf Dicentra cucullariaflw


General: A perennial scapose forb. Plant glabrous, to 30 cm tall, growing from a cluster of several small tubers. Dutchman’s breeches is a spring ephemeral, appearing in early spring and disappearing soon after the blooming period.

Leaves: Basal, pinnately compound, to 16 cm long and 14 cm wide, long-petiolate; leaf blade finely dissected, green above, glaucous beneath; the numerous ultimate segments narrowly oblanceolate.

Flowers: Arranged in arching racemes of 3–14 pendant flowers, to 2 cm wide. Sepals 2, small and bract-like, ovate, to 5 mm long and 4 mm wide; petals 4, to 1.6 cm long and 1 cm wide; the outer 2 petals white, each with divergent spurs and recurved yellow tips, nectariferous; the inner 2 petals yellow, slightly crested and fused (connate) at the tip, enclosing the 6 stamens; filaments connate at the base and arranged in 2 groups of 3 (diadelphous); ovary superior, composed of 2 fused carpels, style to 0.4 cm long. Flowering from May to June.

Fruit: A fusiform capsule, attenuate at both ends, to 1.3 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, with 10-20 seeds.

Habitat and Range: Rich deciduous woods and clearings. Native to temperate eastern North America. In Ontario, found as far north as the Turkey Lakes area, about 60 km N of Sault Ste. Marie.

Internet Images: The Dicentra cucullaria page from Missouriplants.com.

– written by Derek Goertz

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