Corydalis

14 May

Corydalis, winter deciduous, clumping growth to 12 inches, clusters of long, fragrant blooms in yellow, blue or wine color spring to fall, blue-green ferny foliage, full to part shade, rich organic soil, requires regular moisture, good container plant, good cut flower, excellent for woodland gardens.

Handsome clumps of dainty divided leaves like those of bleeding heart (Dicentra, to which it is closely related) or maidenhair fern (Adiantum). Clusters of small, spurred flowers. Plant in rich, moist soil. Effective in rock crevices, in open woodland, near pool or streamside. Divided clumps or sow seed in spring or fall. Plants self-sow. Tend to be short lived in mild-winter zones.

Corydalis flexuosa

From western China. Typically to 1 ft. high, 8 in. wide, but under favorable conditions it rapidly spreads wider from bulblets on the roots. Finely divided foliage and spikelike clusters of blue flowers in early spring, often continuing into summer. May go dormant in summer, especially in hot climates, but will reappear the following spring.

Corydalis lutea

Native to southern Europe. To 15 in. tall, 1 ft. wide. Masses of delicate foliage on many stems. Golden yellow, 3/4-in.-long, short-spurred flowers throughout summer. Self-sows and can become somewhat weedy.

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