by Rebecca Chillrud
April 06, 2018
Early spring is filled with fleeting natural beauty. Many spring flowers only bloom for a short period, but you’re in for a treat if you can catch them at the right time. You can find the unique flowers above, called Dutchman’s breeches, from March to April. The double points on the flower make them look like tiny pantaloons.
Dutchman’s breeches, or Dicentra cucullaria, are a perennial species native to much of the eastern United States. It can be found in woodland areas and along streams, and grow to be about a foot high.
These plants can be a great addition to your garden. Native perennials like Dutchman’s breeches are adaptable to the local climate and can handle its precipitation levels and pests. Compared to non-native plants, they will need very little, if any, fertilizer, making them a great choice for protecting local water quality. Applying less fertilizer and pesticides can help you reduce polluted runoff to your local waterway and the Chesapeake Bay.
Choose a shady area with moist soil and they should do well. These unique flowers can only be enjoyed on the plant—try to pick them and they will immediately wilt.
Learn more about native plants in the Chesapeake.