Ozarks Spring Wildflowers: Dutchman’s Breeches

Picture of the spring wildflower Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria

Dutchman's Breeches certainly must be the nicest looking spring plant. (Note the Spring Beauty at the lower left.)

I had a wildflower coloring book when I was a child and I always thought this plant sounded so exotic and fantastic. So you can imagine that I practically squealed with delight when I saw this in person. Dutchman’s Breeches is just such a cool plant.

The foliage of Dicentra cucullaria is grayish green and fern-like, quite similar to that of Fumewort. And there’s a reason for that. They’re both members of the bleeding heart family. The flowers of Dutchman’s Breeches are white with a yellow ruffle near the bottom. The appearance is that of white pants with little yellow ruffled cuffs.

This is another plant that is a spring ephemeral. Once the seeds are ripe the plant begins to die back and goes dormant for the rest of the summer.


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