#395 Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

04 April 2021

A perennial herbaceous plant, native to rich woods of eastern North America. Dicentra cucullaria is dependent on bumblebees (especially Bombus bimaculatus, a common eastern North American species) for cross-pollination. In fact, the flower structure and mechanism by which it is pollinated indicate that it is adapted for bumblebees, which can separate the outer and inner petals of the flower. They will then use their front legs to expose the stigma, stamen, and anthers. Shortly afterwards, they will sweep pollen in a forward stroke by utilizing their middle legs, before leaving the flower to return to the colony with the pollen. In this way, D. cucullaria is pollinated as the bees move from plant to plant, and the bumblebee meets its dietary needs

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