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Squirrel Corn

Posted Apr 18 2010 7:15pm

In a new subdivision of identical tall houses on small lots, a pathway leads back to a bit of forest and swamp. Big forests and swamps once covered the area but they were gradually turned to farmland which was eventually sold to developers.

Black Cohosh

A pathway leads into the bush and wild flowers are poking up through the carpet of dead leaves on the ground. Bloodroot, Hepatica, Spring Beauties, Trilliums, Jack in the Pulpit, Wild Ginger, Black Cohosh and Trout Lilies are growing quickly and blooming before the trees high above come into full leaf.

Squirrel Corn

I look for Dutchmen's Britches and think I have found a patch, but no, this is something different. The flower is the same shape as the Bleeding Heart in my garden and the leaf shape is similar too. This is the first time I have seen Wild Bleeding Heart, or Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis). It is very closely related to Dutchman's Britches (Dicentra cucullaria) in the Fumewort family of flowers.

Tubers of Squirrel Corn

The tubers of this native wild flower resemble corn and the next day I remove a single stalk from the ground to positively identify the plant.

I have taken many pictures of wild flowers in the past week and have posted some on my Flickr page . They are old favourites but a new discovery is always welcome. I would love to find some wild orchids this year if anyone knows of an area on southwestern Ontario where they grow.
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