Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Dutchman's Breeches: Dicentra cucullaria

dutchmans9-19b.jpg (106229 bytes) Weed Description:  Perennial from a bulbous-like rootstock that is primarily found in or along the edges of woods, or along river banks.  Primarily occurs in the mountains and piedmont of Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Leaves:  Leaves are ovate in outline, approximately 2 to 3 1/2 inches long or wide, with petioles that are from 3 to 8 inches long.  Leaves are compound and divided into leaflets that occur oppositely from one another alon the central axis.

Roots:  A bulbous-like rootstock.

Flowers:  Several white flowers occur on a long, drooping flower stalk.  Individual flowers resemble kernels of corn, thus the name.

Fruit:  A capsule.

Identifying Characteristics:  Plants with divided leaves and conspicuous "corn-like" flowers.  This plant may be confused with Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) or Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) at the early stages, but squirrel corn blooms in March or April, which is much earlier than the other two species.  Additionally, squirrel corn is usually confined to woods or river banks.

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