Dutchman's Breeches - Dicentra cucullaria (Poppy family - Papveraceae; Bleeding-heart subfamily - Fumarioideae)

 

Dutchman's Breeches - Dicentra cucullaria (Poppy family - Papveraceae; Bleeding-heart subfamily - Fumarioideae) A delicate spray of waxy, yellow-tipped flowers drooping in a row from an arched stem. Each flower has 2 inflated spurs. Leaves are very dissected. Roots are a cluster of many small white tubers. 5 - 9 in. Rich woods. April - May.

 

 

The common name derives from the shape of the flowers, which reminded early botanists of white pantaloons on a clothesline with yellow-belted waists down and the ankles up. The plant grows from a bulb, which was dried and used medicinally as a tonic and blood purifier.

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