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Zone
Zones 2-9, 14-24, 32-35, 37, 39-43
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Corydalis

Fumariaceae
Perennials

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, or near a pool or streamside. Divide clumps or sow seed in spring or fall. Plants self-sow. Tend to be short-lived in mild-winter zones.

Corydalis flexuosa ‘Purple Leaf’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)
Corydalis flexuosa ‘Purple Leaf’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)

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Corydalis flexuosa

From western China. Typically grows 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 (photo courtesy of Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic)
Corydalis lutea (photo courtesy of Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic)

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Corydalis lutea

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

Corydalis solida

From northern Europe, Asia. Grows to 10 in. high, 8 in. wide. Blooms in spring, producing spikes containing up to 20 purplish red flowers each. Grow from fall-planted tubers.

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