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And now for something completely different.

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Oh, I am so tired of frozen ground, cold winds and dead plants. So I’m going to change the subject and tell you about a family of plants that I rather like.

If I say ‘Corydalis’ I bet that what will come to mind is a plant that some people think of as almost a weed! It can seed itself around, admittedly. I wish it did in my garden, but it’s very well-behaved there.

What made me think of these plants? Well – some are like C. lutea, and grow roots from seeds – they’re almost evergreen, too – while others vanish in the summer. Not only that, but they grow from tubers.

Meet ‘Beth Evans’. She’s a Corydalis solida, with a round tuber, and I grow her in the ground – with a marker to show me where she is.

She has a brother – ‘George Baker’ – and I grow him in a pot in the greenhouse. I dry his tuber out in the summer, and start it off again in September. He’s just begun to show his first shoots through the compost – so now you know what brought my Corydalis to mind.

Last year I found a completely different Corydalis – it’s evergreen. It’s called Corydalis cheilanthifolia, and I really hope that it might seed itself one day.

This next one does – at Hestercombe gardens in Somerset, you can see plants growing in cracks in the walls! Mine has seeded itself, too, but not quite as prolifically. Its name? Corydalis ochroleuca.
It behaves like C. lutea – it stays evergreen, and grows from roots.

This one also has roots, and little bulbils too – and it vanishes after it’s flowered, to reappear in the spring.

Corydalis flexuosa ‘Purple Leaf’

And a very similar one – C. f. ‘Blue Dragon’.

There are a lot more in this family, and I hope to collect a few of them. I think they’re very attractive plants – don’t you?

More blog posts by spritzhenry

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Comments

 

Lovely Blog Barbara.....the Corydalis are so unusual aren't they. You have some real beauties there....love the white form. I have the Lutea, and as you say it spreads like wild-fire even seeding itself in cracks in walls etc, but the heavy snows flattened it. I'm hoping come Spring it'll be lighting up the dark corners again.....:o) Beautiful photos too!

29 Jan, 2011

 

i certainly do!
lovely photos ~ i always think it helps to appreciate plants more when i see them closely through the lens.

29 Jan, 2011

 

Beautiful as usual, Spritz! Love that ferny foliage. Since some are summer dormant, like many Mediterranean and desert plants, I am surprised that there aren't any growing in gardens here. Apparently the soil temps in the summer are too high, or they aren't low enough in the winter--probably both! Thank you for the eye candy!

30 Jan, 2011

bjs
Bjs
 

Spritz
That should wet the appetite for growing them.
If you hand pollinate G baker & Beth Evans they will produce some lovely shades,You collect them when the pod is green and seed are black just as it starts to open,
one day they are there next gone.and you sow them straight away.

30 Jan, 2011

 

Thanks, Bjs - I might try that. :-)

They are lovely plants, and looking in my RHS book, I know there are lots more!

30 Jan, 2011

 

looking close up as you have has shown me the beauty of a flower I didn't really know -- thanks spritz

30 Jan, 2011

 

Thanks Barbara . . . they're beautiful! I've never grown Corydalis, but love things that self-seed, so I've made a note of C.flexuosa 'Purple leaf' and 'Blue dragon' - can't resist a purple leaf.

30 Jan, 2011

bjs
Bjs
 

Lots more and expensive some of them.
Have been looking this morning at my plant of flexuoaa Golden Panda a few weeks ago it was starting to shoot now this latest cold spell has totaly dried the leaves and looks very sad ,hope the damage is not deep as they are very much surface rooting.
Shall have to talk to sixpence if i loose it.

30 Jan, 2011

 

Thanks they are lovely plants, putting on favs so can back track on them.

30 Jan, 2011

 

Great blog Spritz, I never knew there were so many varieties. I have only the common yellow one which self seeds in a very well behaved way and I always nurture some of them as they're such a lovely plant. Not only pretty flowers but lovely foliage too. Thanks for showing us some of the 'relatives'. :o)

30 Jan, 2011

 

Loved this blog Barbara. Corydalis Flexuosa is the only one I grow. I'm happy to report that the leaves are growing strong already so I know it made it through the winter. I love the little yellow one at the top. I didn't realise there were so many, although I did come across a few in cataloges and on websites this year. The flowers on them remind me of Dicentras a bit. I wonder if they are related? The 'common' yellow one is not familiar to me at all! It musn't grow so well in Scotland, but I will keep an eye out for it this summer!

30 Jan, 2011

 

enjoyed your blog barbara and such danty pretty flowers they are, lovely colours to :o))

30 Jan, 2011

 

lovely blog and pics....Spritz....

30 Jan, 2011

 

I had Pere David, which was a lovely blue and an un-named pink one. The blue one died, but not before leaving lots of seedlings around. Would you like to try one Spritz and see what colour it comes up?

30 Jan, 2011

 

These are a lovely flower Spritz and very much worthy of their own blog. Your wonderful photography does them justice! ;~))

30 Jan, 2011

 

Enjoyed this blog ... especially like 'Beth Evans' type ... perfect for my planned pink border ... the wish list grows ever longer thanks to GoY ... lol! : o ))

30 Jan, 2011

 

Thanks, all - and yes please, Sbg!

Karen, I've just checked, and they are related. They're both in the family 'Papaveraceae'. :-)

30 Jan, 2011

 

Shirley, they do flower quite early in the year - last year, it was at the end of March. Then they go dormant. So it does rather depend on when your pink border comes into bloom!

30 Jan, 2011

 

That IS quite early isn't it? Mind you, March seems so very far away at the moment! It's just so cold still, had to scrape frost from the car windscreen at 7.15 this evening. : o ((

30 Jan, 2011

 

Shirley, I think they are wonderful for early colour. Seeing the leaves coming up (mine are up and visible now) really gives me a boost at this time of year. Mine are flexuosa, so blue, but I'd love a few pink ones. You can divide flexuosa very easily too, so they soon increase.

30 Jan, 2011

 

B...Papaveraceae....oooh, that's the poppy family then? How interesting!

30 Jan, 2011

 

I've just been reading about them and the name comes from the Greek 'korydalis' meaning crested lark - referring to the shape of the flowers. Hmm...... not sure about that! Also, more of a woodland plant, whereas my border is in sun for most of the day. Well, it will be, if the sun ever wakes up! : o ))

30 Jan, 2011

 

I think mine are in part shade, Shirley. Maybe Beth isn't for you - sorry! :-(

30 Jan, 2011

 

: o ((((

30 Jan, 2011

 

Thanks Spritz, a very interesting blog. I shall certainly look out for some of these this year!

30 Jan, 2011

 

You'll certainly find the C. flexuosa ones in GCs, probably in flower. As far as the others are concerned, they're not so easy to track down. On-line is the best for C. solida, or at plant fairs. I think seeds may be available for C. lutea and C. ochroleuca, but I haven't looked yet. Good luck - they're worth growing. :-)

31 Jan, 2011

 

Gorgeous plants, you have caught my interest and I will be looking out for one or two for my garden! :-)

2 Feb, 2011

bjs
Bjs
 

For those of you about to embark on growing Corydalis
you are talking about two totally different types within the one species.Flexuosa and its named forms together with Lutea and Ochroleuca and and great many more are non Tuberous and mainly self fertile hence you have many seedlings.most but not all prefer some shade.
Corydlis Solida is tuberous (George Baker and Beth Evans come into this category) and are two of many that are tuberous,and are mainly self sterile, these all renew there tubers totally each year and if growing well will split into two or more corms that will flower the following spring,most of these when dormant are happy in quite dry or moderately damp conditions some actually grow wild in areas bordering the Mediterranean.

2 Feb, 2011

 

Thanks, Bjs. That's very helpful. :-)

2 Feb, 2011

 

Lovely pics..and yes I want them, especially Beth and George :-) I have two blue ones, one is blue dragon and I can't remember at the moment what the other one is. One of them went berserk last year and flowered for ever, would that be blue dragon? I've made a bit of a fool of myself on your hellebore rosemary pic...don't look at it ¦:-)

6 Feb, 2011

 

Thanks, Ba. That is FAR too tempting - I'll have to look now! ;-)

6 Feb, 2011

 

A lovely plant family.....

7 Mar, 2011

 

It is indeed, Dd. <:-)

8 Mar, 2011

 

My little pink one is just about to flower.

8 Mar, 2011

 

@:-D)

9 Mar, 2011

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