Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
Search

Dutchman’s Breeches Dicentra cucullaria

Growing Dutchman's Breeches: Tips at a Glance

Dutchman's breeches are perennial woodland wildflowers with nodding white blooms that grow best in moist soil, dappled shade, and a generous layer of leaf mold.

  • Type Woodland wildflower
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • Growing Zones 3-9
  • Light Dappled shade
  • Water Moist soil
  • When to Plant Late spring
  • Design Tips Dormant in summer
  • Companions Hostas, ferns
  • Peak Season Spring flowers

Dutchman’s Breeches: A Field Guide

“Where flowers bloom so does hope,” believed Lady Bird Johnson. If the flowers in question are diminutive, delicate Dutchman’s breeches, you will find hope blooming in shade-dappled woodlands throughout the Northeast.

Dicentra cucullaria belongs to a family of North American native flower with ferny, lacy leaves and tiny, nodding flowers. (Their best-known cousin is the common bleeding heart, a native of Asia and recently stripped of its Dicentra affiliation and renamed Lamprocapnos spectabilis for horticultural reasons unknown to us.)

If you cultivate Dicentra as a ground cover (or as clumps of spring flowers), make sure you pick the right spot. Dicentra has a short season and will go dormant in summer, like other spring ephemerals such as Trillium, trout lilies, and Bluebell.

Plant them in a place of prominence where you can enjoy their brief season: “Because American bleeding hearts are so much smaller than the Asian ones, they can get lost in a busy woodland garden,” writes our UK correspondent Kendra Wilson. “This is especially the case with darker flowers such as D. formosa ‘Bacchanal’ (named after Bacchus, god of wine). Too much shade and they will not be noticed, before disappearing altogether. ”

Planting, Care & Design of Dutchman's Breeches

More About Dutchman's Breeches

v5.0