Corydalis from Chance Lawrence, South Carolina

I found this plant growing behind the nursery in the SC Botanical Gardens in Clemson. They were growing in heaps of topsoil/composted leaves under very large and broad oaks, which created a relatively deep shade. It was mid/late winter and the plant was lush, mint-green, and growing in a similar fashion to comfrey (similar size, leaf-bud pattern, and vigorous root system). I transplanted it onto my property which receives full sun for at least 5 hours a day. The plant grow slower and began to flower in early spring. The flowers are small, yellow and trumpet-shaped and have sweet nectar. I’m not exactly sure it’s native as the nursery dumps many dying plants in the woods behind it. Thanks


Your plant is one of the species of Corydalis, a cultivated species, perhaps Corydalis cheilanthifolia.  These are often placed in the family Fumariaceae, which is closely related to the poppy family Papaveraceae.  Dutchman’s breeches, Dicentra cucullaria is related to this plant.

–Steve Hill, SCNPS


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