Dutchman’s breeches is a delightful little North American wildflower – and maybe something more.
In an article titled “Menominee Love Charms” posted at the website of Macalaster College’s Ordway Field Station in Minnesota, Michaela Koller writes, “The main plant [the Menominee used for love charms] is Dicentra cucullaria, more commonly known as Dutchman’s breeches. The Menominee called this plant ‘a’nimau kapotise’sa’ which is translated into: ‘the one that looks like little pants, with his hands in his pockets’” – which is remarkably like the English name for it.
“The Menominee believed that Dutchman’s breeches could be used in two ways by a man to attain the love of his desire,” Koller continues. “The first way was … by throwing a piece of the plant at her. The second way … was by chewing a piece of this plant, so that the scent would be released…. In order to insure the girl smelled this plant, the man would circle around her, until she would ‘follow him wherever he goes.’”