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Dicentra canadensis (Squirrel Corn)

Squirrel Corn, Bicuculla canadensis, Dielytra canadensis

Dicentra canadensis, Squirrel Corn, Bicuculla canadensis, White Flowers, Shade Perennial
Dicentra canadensis, Squirrel Corn, Bicuculla canadensis, White Flowers, Shade Perennial
Dicentra canadensis, Squirrel Corn, Bicuculla canadensis, White Flowers, Shade Perennial

Native to eastern and central North America, Dicentra canadensis (Squirrel Corn) is a clump-forming, tuberous perennial forming a ravishing clump of lacy, smooth blue-green, finely cut leaves. In mid to late spring, gracefully arching stems are adorned with terminal clusters of 4-8 fragrant, white, heart-shaped flowers, 1/2 in. long (1 cm). The blossoms dangle like porcelain earrings above the foliage. Squirrel Corn becomes dormant and dies down soon after flowering. It is a delightful early spring garden companion, adding ephemeral spring color and fragrance to the shade garden.

  • Grows up to 8-12 in. tall and wide (20-30 cm). Tends to self-seed freely in ideal conditions.
  • Thrives in part shade and is easily grown in humus-rich, consistently moist, preferably neutral to acid, well-drained soils. It is full shade tolerant but be aware that too much shade will result in few flowers.
  • Great for shade gardens, woodland gardens, cottage gardens, or as a groundcover.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails. Deer and rabbit resistant but attracts chipmunk and mice.
  • Propagate by seed – sow seed as soon as ripe or in spring. Propagate by division in early spring or after the leaves have completely died down.
  • Native to eastern and central North America.
  • All parts of this plant are toxic if ingested in large quantities.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Papaveraceae
Genus Dicentra
Common names Squirrel Corn
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Height 8" - 1'
(20cm - 30cm)
Spread 8" - 1'
(20cm - 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Dicentra ‘Stuart Boothman’ (Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra formosa ‘Ivory Hearts’ (Pacific Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra ‘Fire Island’ (Fern-Leaf Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra ‘Pink Diamonds’ (Fern-Leaf Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra formosa (Pacific Bleeding Heart)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s Breeches)

Recommended Companion Plants

Sanguinaria canadensis (Bloodroot)
Cardamine concatenata (Cutleaf Toothwort)
Hepatica americana (Roundleaf Liverleaf)
Tiarella cordifolia (Foam Flower)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Pure White Flowers for a Touch of Elegance in Your Garden
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30 Best Spring Flowers to Spruce up Your Garden
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How to Grow and Care for Bleeding Heart
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 7
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Papaveraceae
Genus Dicentra
Common names Squirrel Corn
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Height 8" - 1'
(20cm - 30cm)
Spread 8" - 1'
(20cm - 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky
Tolerance Full Shade, Deer, Rabbit
Attracts Butterflies, Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
Not sure which Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) to pick?
Compare Now

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