Corydalis sempervirens (L.) Pers.
Fumariaceae (Fumitory Family)
Synonym(s): Capnoides sempervirens
USDA Symbol: COSE5
Rock-harlequin or pale corydalis is a delicate, lacy, 1-2 ft. biennial with compound leaves divided into many lobes. During its first summer the only foliage is a basal rosette, but in its second year the plant sends up many branched stems, each tipped with bunches of pink and yellow, uniquely tubular flowers. Drooping, sac-like, tubular, pink and yellow flowers in clusters at ends of branched stems bearing intricately divided leaves. The flowers give way to long, narrow seed pods.
The delicate, dangling flowers and bluish-green foliage distinguish this corydalis. A number of other yellow-flowered species occur in eastern North America. Golden Corydalis (C. micrantha), a winter annual or biennial found in fields or along roadsides, has long-spurred flowers about 1/2" (1.5 cm) long and highly divided leaves. A smaller species, Yellow Harlequin (C. flavula), has flowers less than 1/2" (1.5 cm) long and a very short spur. Climbing Fumitory or Allegheny Vine (Adlumia fungosa) is a closely related woodland vine that climbs to 10' (3 m); it has similar foliage and pink flowers very like those of Tall Corydalis and occurs most frequently in the Allegheny Mountains.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AK , CT , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to AK, s. to n. GA, TN, n. IL, IA, Glacier Nat'l. Park & s. B.C.
Native Habitat: Dry woods; rocky ledges; recent clearings
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Poor, dry, gravelly soil.
Conditions Comments: Pale corydalis can become weedy.
BenefitUse Medicinal: Some Corydalis species have sedative and pain-killing compounds, but many also contain toxic alkaloids. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Easily propagated from seed sown as soon as ripe. Division is another method of increase.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
BibliographyBibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Corydalis sempervirens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Corydalis sempervirens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Corydalis sempervirens
MetadataRecord Modified: 2018-05-18
Research By: TWC Staff