Corydalis scouleri

17 May


This is an old favorite of mine. The elegant flower spikes too ferny foliage that spreads slowly in moist shady to semi shady soils. It likes stream banks and wet ledges in the wild, but has done well for me in the relatively moist understory under my apple tree, including in the sandy soils left over from the old sand box. Of course, that area received water from the downspout till we redid the gutters last year and I moved it.

And now I have an even better reason to like this plant- yesterday I watched a female Anna’s visit nearly every flower on not just one but three flower spikes! So add hummingbird attractor to its list of good reasons to plant these!


Aside from that, I think the dusky pink flowers with their backswept tubular shape is rather charming and fascinating. These are related to the bleeding hearts (Dicentra formosa is our native one), and the foliage is similar but much taller- usually almost two feet in full flower. They grow in similar locations, though the Dicentra seems more drought tolerant and is much easier to get established.

These are worth it though if you have enough moisture for them. Few things light up a shady garden like this queen of the woods!

Here it is in my garden with goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) behind it-



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