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Plant Profile: Yellow Fumitory (Corydalis lutea)

Corydallis plantCorydalis is not the most conspicuous plant in the garden but it is one of the most welcome.  How many plants bloom from spring to fall and have attractive foliage?  Not many but this is one that does.  The small-spurred yellow flowers are borne in clusters at the top of wiry stems above pale blue-green fern like foliage.   Its most endearing quality is its propensity to appear anywhere in the garden.  It went from a shade garden in the front of my house to a location under a bench in my back yard garden.  It is well known for its self-seeding habits and has ants to thank for its wide spread distribution as they carry the seed everywhere including to cracks in walls.

Corydalis closeType: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Tubular yellow flowers,  2/3″-3/4″ long, from late spring to early fall.

Size: 12-15” H x 12-15” W.

Light: Full shade to full sun (with adequate moisture)

Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained soil.  Tolerates soils with basic pH.

Hardiness: Zones 3-8.

Care: No special needs.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance.

Propagation: Collect seeds and sow immediately as they must be fresh.  Plants may also be divided in spring or fall.

Companion plants: Under-plant with grape hyacinths; Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans); small-medium sized hostas.

Comments: Similar to fern leaf bleeding heart to which it is related.   Deer and rabbit resistant.

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