squirrel corn

(Dicentra canadensis)

Conservation Status

 

No image available

 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S3 - Vulnerable

     
  Minnesota

Special Concern

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

 

     
  Midwest

 

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

 

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Squirrel corn is a 4 to 12 tall, erect, perennial forb with a short rhizome that is covered with yellow, round or corn kernel shaped shaped bulblets. Usually 1 but sometimes 2 leaves and a flowering stalk arise from each bulblet.

There is no central stem.

The leaves are all basal. They are 4 to 12 long, but usually 5½ to 9½ long, 1½ to 7 wide, but usually 2 to 5½ wide. They are on 2 to 8 long, but usually 3 to 6¼ long, slender, often brown stalks. The leaves are divided into 3 primary leaflets. Each leaflet is again divided into 3 secondary leaflets. These secondary leaflets may be again divided into 3 tertiary leaflets. The ultimate leaflets (secondary or, if any, tertiary), are cleft into linear or narrowly oblong lobes, and end in a minute, abrupt tip. The margins are untoothed. The upper leaf surface is bluish green, hairless, smooth to the touch, and covered with a whitish, waxy coating (glaucous). The underside is hairless and glaucous.

The inflorescence is a long, unbranched cluster of 3 to 12 flowers at the end of a flowering stalk (scape). The scape is slender, hairless, and leafless. It is 4 to 12 long, but usually 6 to 10½ long, arches at the tip, and usually extends above the leaves.

The flowers are about ½ long and ¾ wide. 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, the 2 outer petals white. The outer petals are pouch-like and have short, scarcely diverging nectar spurs with broadly rounded tips. The inner petals are much narrower, are united at the tips, and have small wings that curl upward. The flowers are fragrant.

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

Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) bulblets are more numerous, half as big, pink to white, and shaped like a tear-drop. There are usually 2 leaves per scape. The upper leaf surface is yellowish green, rough to the touch, and is not glaucous. The nectar spurs are long and widely diverging. The flowers are not fragrant. It is found throughout Minnesota except in the northeast.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Deciduous woods.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

April to May

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  4/3/2018      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
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 (dicots)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Papaveraceae (poppy)  
  Subfamily Fumarioideae  
  Tribe Fumarieae  
  Subtribe Corydalinae  
 

Genus

Dicentra (bleeding heart)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
  Bicuculla canadensis  
       
 

Common Names

 
  squirrel corn  
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

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.

 

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.

       
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Slideshows
   
  Dicentra canadensis (Squirrel Corn)
Allen Chartier
 
  Dicentra canadensis (Squirrel Corn)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis)
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 26, 2012

I show the Squirrel Corn flower as well as what the root looks like to help you identify the plant

   
       

 

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