Dutchman’s Breeches – Flowering Jewels of Early Spring

Chemistry, Plants
[caption id="attachment_17508" align="alignright" width="440"] Dicentra cucullaria - Image own work Fritzflohrreynolds CCA-SA3.0 Unported[/caption] With a name reminiscent of trousers or undergarments, we wouldn’t expect Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) to be particularly beautiful. A cluster of these jewels caught my attention during a search for the elusive morel mushroom. Even though I’d never seen Dutchman’s Breeches before, I instantly recognized the treasure I’d found. It was a bit of a lucky guess, as Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis) is very similar. Why So Beautiful What makes Dutchman's Breeches so beautiful? Quite often, a plant possesses beauty a single component, whether the flower or the leaf, or even overall form. But for D. cucullaria, every component part of the plant is beautiful, even its rootstock as can be seen from this Missouri Department…
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