Squirrel Corn – Flowers

(Bicuculla Canadensis) Poppy family

Flowers—Irregular, greenish white tinged with rose, slightly fragrant, heart-shaped, with 2 short rounded spurs, over 1/2 in. long, nodding on a slender scape. Calyx of 2 scale-like sepals ; corolla heart-shaped at base, consisting of 4 petals in 2 united pairs, a prominent crest on tips of inner ones ; 6 stamens in 2 sets ; style with 2-lobed stigma. Scape: Smooth, 6 to 12 in. high, the rootstock bearing many small, round, yellow tubers like kernels of corn. Leaves : All from root, delicate, compounded of 3 very finely dissected divisions.

Preferred Habitat—Rich, moist woods.

Flowering Season—May—June.

Distribution—Nova Scotia to Virginia, and westward to the Mississippi.

Any one familiar with the Bleeding-heart (B. eximia) of old-fashioned gardens, found growing wild in the Alleghanies, and with the exquisite White Mountain Fringe (Adlumia fungosa) often brought from the woods td be planted over shady trellises, or with the Dutchman’s breeches, need not be told that the little squirrel corn is next of kin or far removed from the pink corydalis. It is not until we dig up the plant and look at its roots that we see why it received its name. A delicious perfume like hyacinths, only fainter and subtler, rises from the dainty blossoms.