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Dicentra chrysantha (Hook. & Arn.) Walp.

Modern name

Ehrendorferia chrysantha (Hook. & Arn.) Rylander


Dielyira chrysantha Hook. & Arn.

A semi-herbaceous or sub-shrubby plant which becomes woody at the base, sending up annually stems and flowering branches 2 to 4 ft high. It is quite free from down in all its parts. Leaves of a pale glaucous hue, up to 12 in. long, bi-pinnately or tri-pinnately divided; the ultimate divisions lobed, 14 to 1 in. long, 18 to 14 in. wide, the lobes linear or wedge-shaped. Panicles 1 to 2 ft high, erect, slender, sparsely branched. Flowers erect, yellow, 12 to 1 in. long and wide, opening first in June or July and continuing for two or three months. There are four petals of two shapes: the two outer ones are baggy at the base, curving inwards halfway up and spreading outwards at the pointed, recurved apex; the two inner ones are erect and enclose the six stamens and stigma. Bot. Mag., t. 7954.

Native of California, where it was first discovered by David Douglas. It was introduced to cultivation by William Lobb, who sent seeds to Messrs Veitch of Exeter, from which plants were raised that first flowered in 1852. Since then it has had an only intermittent existence in our gardens, where it does not appear to be long-lived, missing probably the heat and brilliant sunshine of its natural home. It is found wild on dry hills in S. California up to 5,000 ft. It should be grown in well-drained soil at the foot of a south wall in full sunshine, all the better if the wall is that of a hot-house. The whitish foliage and bright yellow blossom give a charming effect. The shape of the flowers recalls that of D. spectabilis, the common border plant popularly known as ‘Dutchman’s Breeches’, but in D. chrysantha they are erect.



Other species in the genus

[No species article available]