Squirrel Corn gets its name from its yellow tubers that resemble kernels of corn and that which squirrels and other small rodents love to eat.

Squirrel Corn

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Squirrel Corn-Dicentra canadensis Hardy Planting Zones- 2-9 Sun or Shade – Partial Sun to Partial Shade Mature Height - 6-12" Mature Width- 6" Bloom Season – Spring (April to May) Gardener Status- Beginner

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Interestingly, these tubers have also historically used as an ingredient in many tonics, and they also have been used to treat a variety of skin conditions. Squirrel Corn is a reasonably early bloomer, and its flowers typically appear in April and May. These small, fragrant flowers are shaped like hearts and range in color from white to very light pink, and sometimes they can have a hint of an almost lavender color. They are similar in appearance to this plant’s more commonly known close relative, the bleeding heart. The Squirrel Corn’s leaves are very smooth and often described as fern-like in shape.

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Squirrel Corn does not like direct sunlight and will grow best in partly shady areas. As such, it is ideal for shady gardens, maybe even those with dappled sunlight like one might find in a wooded area. Because of Squirrel Corn’s reasonably early blooming time, it is often used in these shaded gardens to provide initial visual interest while other flowers have yet to bloom. Squirrel Corn prefers the soil in which it is grown to be kept moist with frequent watering, and it thrives in this land is also humus-rich and slightly acidic. At maturity, Squirrel Corn is an average-sized plant and will reach a height of approximately six to twelve inches tall. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that Squirrel Corn be planted in hardiness zones four through seven.

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