A herbaceous plant native to the woods of North America, Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria
), are 1-2 cm long white flowers, and one of the several plants whose seeds are spread by ants (a process known as myrmecochory
The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome
that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate.
Native Americans and early practitioners considered this plant useful for syphilis, skin conditions and as a blood purifier. The flower contains several alkaloids that may have effects on the brain and heart.
The name, Dutchman's Breeches, derives from the flowers that look like white breeches.
Breeches are an item of clothing covering the body from the waist down, with separate coverings for each leg, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles. Formerly a standard item of western men's clothing, they had fallen out of use by the early 19th century in favor of pantaloons and then trousers.
In a 10 mile neighborhood ...
- Trap Falls
- Lake of the Clouds
- Changing of the Guards
- Bonanza Falls