Picture of the Week

July 18, 2022

Dutchman’s Breeches Bulblets 

John Orick, Purdue Master Gardener State Coordinator, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

The photos in this article show the bulblets for a wildflower known as Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria). This spring flowering plant is related to another wildflower, squirrel-corn (Dicentra canadensis) which looks very similar and has yellowish bulblets that resemble corn kernels. Dutchman’s breeches has white to light pink oddly shaped flowers which resemble a pair of 18th century “breeches” or trousers. This perennial plant grows in woodland areas with part sun and shade and its blooms are frequently visited by several pollinating insects. The plant is toxic but offers some unique beauty to woodlands in the Midwest.

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Photos by Brittany McAdams

dutchman breeches Dutchman's breeches bulblets.
Dutchman's breeches bulblets.  Dutchman's breeches bulblets.

For more information and pictures of the flower:

The Virtual Nature Trail at Penn State New Kensington https://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/dutchmans_breeches.html

The Indiana Dunes Plant Guide http://www.indunesguide.com/dicentracucullaria

The United States Forest Service, “Plant of the Week” https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/dicentra_cucullaria.shtml

Missouri Department of Conservation https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/dutchman%E2%80%99s-breeches

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