Missouri Wildflower Guide


Occasionally I came upon a precocious spray of Dutchman's-breeches, or wild bleedingheart, hung frailly with delicately transparent shell-like blossoms.

 

From "Nature-Notes and Impressions" by Madison Cawein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dutchman's-Breeches

A well-known and popular wildflower, Dutchman's Breeches graces woodland areas with its delicate foliage and dainty flowers beginning in early Spring.

 

Its distinctive blossoms are V-shaped, resembling upside-down pantaloons, and hang from an upright stalk above the leaves.

 

Bumblebees, who pollinate this flower, have a tongue long enough to reach the nectar, while honeybees cannot do so and are only able to gather its pollen.

 

The plant is poisonous and can cause a skin rash.

  • Bloom Time

    Mar-May

     

  • Habit

    Herbaceous

     

  • Height

    To 1 foot but typically 6-8 inches

     

  • Longevity

    Perennial

     

  • Light

    Shade

     

  • Flower Stem

    Flower droops from slender, leafless stem held erect above foliage

     

  • Leaf Arrangement

    Basal

     

  • Leaf Edges

    Dissected

     

  • Leaf Stem

    Long

 

Dutchman's-Breeches leaf