squirrel corn

(Dicentra canadensis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

 

No image available

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S3 - Vulnerable

Minnesota

Special Concern

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Uncommon

Habitat

Moist. Deciduous woods.

Flowering

April to May

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

4 to 12

     

Identification

This 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.

 
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.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Papaveraceae (poppy)

 

Subfamily:

Fumarioideae

 

Tribe:

Fumarieae

 

Subtribe:

Corydalinae

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

 

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  Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis)
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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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