Plant Guide

Dicentra cucullaria

Pronunciation: dy-SEN-truh kuk-yoo-LAIR-ee-uh
Family: Fumariaceae
Common Name: Dutchman's Breeches
Plant Type:
  • perennial

Height to: 12"
Width to: 12"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8

Bloom Description: Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) bear creamy white flowers in spring with two upward spurs
Bloom Season:
  • mid spring
  • late spring

Sun Exposure:
  • part sun

Soil Type: Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) prefer fertile, moist but well drained soil.
Pests and Diseases: Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) is susceptible to slugs and snails.

Propagation: sow fresh seed of Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) or warm/cold/warm stratify; 3-4" root cuttings in summer or fall; fall division
Winter Sowing Zones: zones 3-8
Native to: Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) is native from Nova Scotia to Kansas and North Carolina


Growth rate: moderate

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) Foliage: dissected to deeply cut, compound, gray-green

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) Landscape habit, uses: woodland, front to mid-border

Other interest: first plants of common bleeding heart introduced to England in 1840's from Japan by famous plant explorer Robert Fortune; flowers resemble bleeding hearts or upside down breeches (pants)

Other culture: Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) may go dormant if dry out; divide after 3 years if needed

Source: Perry's Perennial Pages, University of Vermont

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8

Submitted by: Pectiwiccan
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