Low, stemless perennial. Rich open woods, especially northward. Nova Scotia to Minnesota and Washington, southward to North Carolina. Abundant in the ravines of northern Ohio. April, May.

Roots

Subterranean shoots bear scattered grain-like tubers resembling yellow peas.

Scape

Five to ten inches high, bearing a simple raceme of flowers.

Leaves

Delicate, grayish green, thrice compound, finely cut, borne on long, slender stems which rise from the root.

Flowers

Borne in a nodding raceme on a scape five to ten inches high, irregular, white, tipped with greenish rose color, and slightly fragrant.

Calyx

Of two small, scale-like sepals.

Corolla

Four petals in two pairs, somewhat cohering into a flattened, heart-shaped, irregular flower; the outer pair of petals extended into two short and rounded spurs; the crested inner petals project conspicuously and protect the slightly protruding stamens.

Stamens

Six, in two sets; filaments of each set slightly united.

Pistil

One; style slender; stigma two-lobed.

Fruit

Long, slender pod; ten to twenty seeds.

Pollinated by bumblebees and bee-like flies. Nectar-bearing. Anthers mature before the stigmas.

Squirrel Corn at Home. Dicentra Canadensis

Squirrel-Corn at Home. Dicentra Canadensis

Squirrel-Corn is very like its blood-brother Dicentra cucullaria. The plants are similar in general habit and appearance; the flowers of Dicentra Canadensis have more rounded spurs and possess a faint fragrance. The common name emphasizes the little round tubers found at the root. Both are plants of exquisite beauty, native to northern woodlands, but the destruction of our forests seals their fate, for they are wildlings and disappear before the advance of civilization.