April 16, 2013
Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) is an early spring wildflower native to the rich deciduous forests of the Northeast, including Manhattan island. This plant is in the same genus as a widely used shade perennial you may know as Bleeding Heart.
The plant you see in this picture, Dicentra cucullaria, can be found in NYU's Native Woodland Garden in Schwartz Plaza on the east face of Bobst Library. This plant, along with all the others we've planted there since 2009 are believed to have been present on Manhattan island before European settlement in 1609. Dutchman's Breeches (named for its flower which recalls the garb used by Dutch colonists) goes dormant in summer, so make sure you catch it while it's in bloom!