Growing Guide
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Dutchman's Breeches

Herbaceous Perennial Flower, Wildflower

Dicentra cucullaria
Fumariaceae Family

This native woodland flower bears white flowers that resemble pantaloons (hence the name Dutchman's breeches) in spring, then quickly fades. Great for a partly shaded wildflower garden. Unlike other bleeding hearts, this plant sprouts from underground tubers.

Site Characteristics
  • part shade

Soil conditions:

  • requires acid soil
  • requires damp soil
Prefers rich soil high in organic matter that is moist when the plant is blooming, then dry during dormancy.

Hardiness zones:

  • 3 to 8
May be only marginally hardy in Zone 3.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 0.5 to 1 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Bloom time: mid-spring

Flower color: white

Foliage color:

  • gray-green
  • blue-green

Bluish-gray green.

Foliage texture: medium


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • spreading mass

Spreads by growth sprouting off of underground tubers (not found in other Dicentras).

Shape in flower: flower stalks with flowers hanging downward

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • native to North America - Eastern U.S. and Canada
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by division or separation - After flowering, separate and replant tubers.

Maintenance and care:
Provide dry growing conditions for summer dormancy. Place where later-appearing garden plants (such as hostas) will mask the bare spot left by dormant plants after blooming.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

Slugs and snails (on new growth)
Verticillium wilt
Fungal leaf spots
Downy mildew