Scape. - Slender. Leaves. - Thrice - compound. Flowers. - White and yellow, growing in a raceme. Calyx. - Of two small, scale-like sepals. Corolla. - Closed and flattened; of four somewhat cohering white petals tipped with yellow; the two outer - large, with spreading tips and deep spurs; the two inner - small, with spoon-shaped tips uniting over the anthers and stigma. Stamens. - Six. Pistil. - One.
There is something singularly fragile and spring-like in the appearance of this plant as its heart-shaped blossoms nod from the rocky ledges where they thrive best. One would suppose that the firmly closed petals guarded against any intrusion on the part of insect-visitors and indicated the flower's capacity for self-fertilization; but it is found that when insects are excluded by means of gauze no seeds are set, which goes to prove that the pollen from another flower is a necessary factor in the continuance of this species. The generic name, Dicentra, is from the Greek and signifies two-spurred. The flower, when seen, explains its two English titles. It is accessible to every New Yorker, for in early April it whitens many of the shaded ledges in the upper part of the Central Park.
Plate VI. Dutchman's Breeches. - D. Cucullaria
Dutchman's Breeches. - D. Cucullaria.