Dicentra canadensis.JPG

Family:     Papaveraceae (Poppy family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     10 - 20 cm (4 - 8 in)

Blooming: April - May



Dicentra canadensis (Goldie) Walp.

Flowers: 3-12 drooping flowers that look like creamy white, soft pillows in the shape of a white heart.  The pedicels are usually 3-7 mm (0.12-0.28 in) long.  

Leaves: blueish-green divided leaves.  The leaf blade can have four orders of leaflets and lobes.  

Fruits: elongated capsules that diminish at both ends.

Sun: Part sun to shade.

Ideal conditions: Rich soil in woodland shade.

Comments: Squirrel-corn is a spring treat and not as common in Northwest Indiana as is its closely related sister, Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria).  They both can grow together but there has been no evidence of hybridization.  The ​bulblets on the squirrel-corn are round and yellow looking like corn whereas the Dutchman has pink bulbets that look like teardrops.  The flowers of squirrel-corn have short, rounded nectar spurs and a delicious fragrance.  Usually, the Dutchman blooms a week sooner than its squirrelly sister. 

Both Dicentra cucullaria and D. canadensis are pollinated by long-tongued insects and bumblebees.  Ants are their seed delivery trucks.

Etymology: Dicentra is derived from the Greek words di- and kentron which translates to "two spurs". The species name canadensis simply means "of Canada".    


Dicentra canadensis bulblet.JPG

Landscape: a lovely woodland flower that will do well on the north side of your home or where there just isn't too much sun.

Dicentra canadensis leaves.jpg

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native