Dutchman’s Breeches, aka Dicentra cucullaria, are ephemeral spring wildflowers that are blooming right now along embankments in the Bluegrass. They look like a racks of teensy, upside-down white pants, bloomers in rich woodlands. An interesting fact: seeds are spread by ants, a phenomenon known as myrmechory, which is Greek for ‘circular dance’.
For people, getting to know the wonders of wildflowers seems to go hand-in-hand with a desire to be good environmental stewards, provides exercise and fresh air experiences, and awakens artistic impulses. It’s our own ‘circular dance’. But the places where these flowers grow are becoming more and more rare every year. How often have you seen Dutchman’s Breeches blooming, much less a hillside full of them?
One way to stay in touch with what’s happening with Kentucky wildflowers is to check out the Kentucky Native Plant Society. Click here for their website: KNPS. You’ll find activities, links to other groups and even a Facebook page where members post sightings and discoveries daily. An open house at Dropseed Native Plant Nursery in Goshen is also listed; scheduled 9-5 April 25, there will be speakers on building a bush honeysuckle trellis, butterfly garden design and considerations, and edible native plants. See DNPN.