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Corydalis ophiocarpa

 
Corydalis ophiocarpa
Corydalis ophiocarpa
Corydalis ophiocarpa
Ours stay evergreen through the winter, and are quick to resume a lush look in spring. By mid to late April, flowerbuds are forming

Family fumariaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z5-8)
Flowers creamy yellow (spring)
Size 18-30"
Light part shade
Cultural notes soil not too dry. woodland conditions work nicely.
From seed fresh seed germinates at room temperature
Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below

Species from the Himalayas. Dense flower spikes emerge from spring into summer, from a mound of ferny foliage. The photo above left shows a first-year plant, with just an occasional flower. From any kind of distance, the two-tonedness of the flowers, with their deep burgundy lower lips, is not at all apparent; in fact, the darker tips almost detract from the appearance, giving the flowers the appearance of being past their prime even when they're in full exuberant bloom. So once again, I'm happy for close-up photography and its ability to highlight the hidden beauty of plants that don't flaunt it.
I grew this from seed labeled C. cheilanthifolia, but both the foliage and the flower color were wrong, so I finally re-assigned our plants to C. ophiocarpa. Since first growing it almost ten years ago, the mother plants are long gone, but I still find occasional seedlings – often surprisingly far from previous plants. Not the showiest plant, but I keep it around as a pleasant filler.

Corydalis ophiocarpa
The flowers viewed from a bit more distance

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '03 trade. Pot at 65F, 40%G 14-21d. Fast-growing.
    Also started in pot set outside in December; seedlings emerged in late March


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Last modified: April 24, 2012
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