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Herbaceous Perennial

Dicentra cucullaria

Dutchman's breeches

D. cucullaria is a compact clump-forming, tuberous perennial with deeply lobed or cut, blue-green leaves up to 25cm long and producing white (or occasionally pink), yellow to greenish-yellow tipped flowers in spring

Other common names
bachelor's breeches
boys and girls
see morebreeches flower
butterfly banners
fly flower
Indian boys and girls
monk's hood
pantalon flower
soldier's cap
staggerweed
turkey corn
white eardrop
white heart
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Yellow Blue Green
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Papaveraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
All parts cause stomach ache if ingested, the foliage may aggravate skin allergies. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Dicentra can be rhizomatous or tuberous perennials with attractively divided leaves and pendent, heart-shaped flowers, usually in arching panicles or racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E & N USA

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in gritty, well-drained but humus-rich, preferably neutral or slightly alkaline soil in partial shade. The foliage dies down soon after flowering. It is best kept almost dry during summer dormancy

Propagation

Propagate by division in early spring or after the leaves have died down. Propagate by seed - sow seed as soon as ripe or in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Garden edging
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Slugs and snails can damage emerging foliage

Diseases

Generally disease free

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