Dicentra cucullaria is a spring ephemeral plant with very delicate, compound foliage resembling a Corydalis solida. It is easy to spot in the woods after the white pantaloon-shaped flowers (frequently suffused with pink) and yellow to orange lips. They’ll go dormant soon after setting seeds, leaving the garden space open for other summer blooming perennials.
It is a delicate plant that forms great combinations with other early spring flowers or ferns. Being dormant for a long period, it needs a location with good drainage; best planted around trees or shrubs.
It is hard to collect seeds which are equipped with elaiosomes and gathered by ants. It propagates faster from the ‘seed-like grains’ (bulblets). They’ll reach flowering size in 2-3 years depending on the growing conditions.
Germination: seeds need to be kept moist and allowed a warm/cold cycle. Sow as soon as possible and keep the pots outdoors.
The teardrop-shaped bulblets that form around the short rootstock can be planted directly in the garden (in a marked location) or grown in pots until flowering size (in a mix with very good drainage).