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Dicentra canadensis

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Bicuculla canadensis
  • Dielytra canadensis
Phonetic Spelling
dy-SEN-trah ka-na-DEN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Squirrel Corn lives primarily in deciduous moist woods or among rock outcrops often in mountainous areas. It is a perennial forb. It grows best in loam-rich moist soils. This small wildflower has lovely heart-shaped blooms in spring with lacy foliage. By summer it goes dormant. Use in the woodland and shade gardens for early spring interest. Plant with later appearing perennials. 

Germination of seeds can be slow and difficult as they are spread by ants. It is possible to propagate from root division by transplanting the tiny root tubers. All parts of this plant are toxic if ingested in large quantities.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bumble bees#white#poisonous#white flowers#pink flowers#native perennial#tuberous#small mammals#bumblebees#NC native#dainty#delicate#heart#whistful#heart-shaped#spring interest#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bumble bees#white#poisonous#white flowers#pink flowers#native perennial#tuberous#small mammals#bumblebees#NC native#dainty#delicate#heart#whistful#heart-shaped#spring interest#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dicentra
    Species:
    canadensis
    Family:
    Papaveraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE. Canada to N. Central & E. U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    CT , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Squirrels and mice are attracted to the root tubers
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 5 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    1/2 inch drooping seed capsules are a somewhat flattened oval. Each capsule divides into 2 parts to release several seeds. Fruits are available in June.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers hang upside down on a 6-8 inch arching stem in an elongated terminal cluster of 4-8 blooms. Flowers are white to very pale pink, heart-shaped and 0.5 in. long with 2 spurs on the upper side. Flowers bloom April-May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal leaves are triangular in shape and thrice divided to give them a lacy effect. They are pale and waxy underneath. They are 5 to 9 inches long and 3 to 7 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Trembling, staggering, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, labored breathing only if large quantities are eaten. Skin irritation after repeated contact with the cell sap. The reaction is mild and lasts for a few minutes
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Several isoquinolone alkaloids.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems