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Corydalis caseana (Sierra fumewort)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Corydalis caseana

Corydalis caseana A. Gray

Sierra Fumewort

Fumariaceae (Fumitory Family)


USDA Symbol: COCA15

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A rather soft, almost succulent, tall plant with leafy, hollow stems, large, fern-like leaves, and dense racemes of 50-200 pinkish-white flowers.

The fruit of this and other species have elastic walls that instantly curl back and explosively eject seeds when touched. Scouler Corydalis (C. scouleri), found from British Columbia south to northern Oregon, is similar but has only 15-35 flowers in the largest racemes; its petals are pink, usually with purple at the tips.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall, sometimes taller.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: CA , CO , ID , NM , OR , UT , WA
Native Distribution: Northeastern Oregon south to central Sierra Nevada and east to Idaho and Colorado.
Native Habitat: Shady moist areas in mountains.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Warning: This plant contains alkaloids poisonous to livestock, particularly sheep. Humans should generally avoid consuming plants that are toxic to animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Corydalis caseana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Corydalis caseana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Corydalis caseana


Record Modified: 2023-04-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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