Dutchman’s breeches

(Dicentra cucullaria)

Conservation Status
Dutchman’s breeches
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Dutchman’s breeches is a 4 to 12 tall, erect, perennial forb with a short rhizome that is covered with pink to white, teardrop-shaped bulblets. Sometimes 1 but usually 2 leaves and a flowering stalk arise from each bulblet.

There is no central stem.

The leaves are all basal. They are 4 to 14 long, but usually 5½ to 6 long, 1½ to 7 wide, but usually 2 to 5½ wide. They are on 2 to 9½ long, but usually 3 to 6¼ long, slender, often brown stalks. The leaves are divided into 3 primary leaflets (ternate). Each leaflet is again divided into 3 secondary leaflets (biternate). These secondary leaflets may be again divided into 3 tertiary leaflets (triternate). The ultimate leaflets (secondary or, if any, tertiary), are cleft into linear or narrowly oblong lobes (pinnatifid), and end in a minute, abrupt tip. The margins are untoothed. The upper leaf surface is somewhat yellowish green, hairless, not glaucous, and rough to the touch. The underside is silvery green, hairless, and covered with a whitish, waxy coating (glaucous).

The inflorescence is a long, unbranched cluster of 3 to 14 flowers at the end of a flowering stalk (scape). The scape is slender, hairless, and leafless. It is 4 to 12 long, arches at the tip, and extends above the leaves.

The flowers are about ½ long, ¾ wide, and shaped like a Dutchman’s breeches, giving this plant its common name. They flowers hang downward on hairless flower stalks that are from a little over 1 16 to ½ long. There are 4 petals, the 2 inner petals white with pale yellow or cream-colored tips, the 2 outer petals white. The outer petals are pouch-like and have 2 5 to 3 5 long, widely diverging, nectar spurs with narrowly rounded tips. The inner petals are much narrower, are united at the tips, and have small wings that curl upward. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a spindle-shaped capsule that tapers to a point at both ends. The capsules are ¼ to long, but usually to ½ long, and to 3 16 wide. They contain several seeds.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4 to 12

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Slender corydalis (Corydalis micrantha ssp. micrantha) flowers are yellow and have a single nectar spur.

Squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis) bulblets are fewer, twice as big, yellow, and are round or shaped like a corn kernel. There is usually 1 leaf per scape. The upper leaf surface is bluish green, glaucous, and smooth to the touch. The nectar spurs are shorter and more rounded. The flowers are fragrant. In Minnesota it is found only in the southeast.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Deciduous woods.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

April to May

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.

 
  6/29/2022      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Papaveraceae (poppy)  
  Subfamily Fumarioideae  
  Tribe Fumarieae  
  Subtribe Corydalinae  
 

Genus

Dicentra (bleedinghearts)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Bicuculla cucullaria

Dicentra cucullaria var. occidentalis

Dicentra occidentalis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Dutchman’s breeches

Dutchman’s-breeches

Dutchmans breeches

Dutchmans britches

turkey corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Biternate

Twice ternate. A leaf divided into 3 segments, with each segment divided into 3 leaflets or lobes.

 

Glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Pinnatifid

Deeply cut, more than half way to the midrib but not to the midrib, into lobes that are spaced out along the midrib; the lobes do not form separate leaflets.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the node.

 

Scape

An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster.

 

Ternate

Refers to leaves that are divided into three leaflets or sections.

 

Triternate

Three times ternate. A leaf divided into 3 main divisions, with each division divided into 3 segments, and each segment divided into 3 leaflets.

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Babette Kis

 
 

Dicentra cucullaria

Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's breeches, April 28, 2020, growing in a woodland, in Racine County, WI.

  Dutchman’s breeches  
 

Nancy Falkum

 
    Dutchman’s breeches      
 

Kirk Nelson

 
 

Dutchman’s breeches blooming along the Bluff Trail, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit

  Dutchman’s breeches  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Plant

 
    Dutchman’s breeches   Dutchman’s breeches  
           
    Dutchman’s breeches      
           
 

Inflorescence

 
    Dutchman’s breeches   Dutchman’s breeches  
           
    Dutchman’s breeches      
           
 

Flowers

 
    Dutchman’s breeches   Dutchman’s breeches  
           
 

Leaves

 
    Dutchman’s breeches   Dutchman’s breeches  
           
    Dutchman’s breeches   Dutchman’s breeches  

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
  Dicentra cucullaria
Zi W
 
  Dicentra cucullaria  
  Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's Breetches)
Allen Chartier
 
  Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's Breetches)  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Dutchman's Breeches( Dicentra Cucullaria)
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 13, 2012

Dutchman's Breeched( Dicentra Cucullaria) in flower and I show the root also to help in identifcation

   
  Bumblebee foraging on Dutchman's breeches, Delaware, Ohio, USA
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 26, 2009

The fancifully named spring-flowering woodland wildflower "dutchman's breeches" (Dicentra cucullaria, family Fumariaceae) is pollinated by bumblebees (Bombus spp.). This foraging bout is taking place the morning of April 26, 2009 at the Delaware Wildlife Area in central Ohio, USA.

   
  Virginia Bluebells & Dutchman's Breeches by the Potomac River
Robert Ferraro
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 9, 2011

The floodplain of the Potomac River along the Billy Goat Trail in the Cardarock area of the C&O Canal National Historic Park in Maryland was full of blooming Virginia Bluebells and Dutchman's Breeches on April 9th. Lots of other interesting blooms along the trail, especially on the south-facing rock outcrops.

   
  Just a Blooming Moment, Dutchmans Breeches.wmv
PilcherPark
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 26, 2011

Dutchmans Breeches growing in Pilcher Park, Joliet.

   
  INDIANA SPRING WILDFLOWERS, PLANTS MID-LATE APRIL
Hoosier Sasquatch
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 27, 2013

Dutchman's Breeches, Wildflowers, wild plants, leek,

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this plant.

 
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  Nancy Falkum
5/6/2022

Location: Whitewater WMA, Main Branch Unit

Dutchman’s breeches  
  Babette Kis
4/28/2020

Location: Racine Co., WI

Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's breeches, April 28, 2020, growing in a woodland, in Racine County, WI.

Dutchman’s breeches  
  Kirk Nelson
4/19/2015

Location: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Long Meadow Lake Unit

Dutchman’s breeches blooming along the Bluff Trail

Dutchman’s breeches  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Created 4/26/2005

Last Updated:

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