The ancient Greek name, from korydalos, the lark, because the spur is crested.
Perennial. Rocky cliffs in moist and open woods. Nova Scotia to Alaska, south to North Carolina, west to Minnesota. Rare in northern Ohio. April-September.
One to two feet high, pale green with whitish bloom.
Grayish green, delicate, compounded of three to five deeply cleft leaflets with their margins unevenly lobed and scalloped.
Pale pink and white, tipped with yellow, one-half to three-fourths of an inch long, few in number, borne in loose terminal racemes.
Pale Corydalis. Corydalis sempervirens
Two sepals, small and scale-like.
Irregular, of two pairs of converging petals; one of the outer pair is formed into a short and rounded bag-like spur; the inner pair are very narrow and keeled at the back.
Golden Corydalis. Corydalis aurea After Gray's " Genera Plantae Americae"
Six, in two sets of three each, opposite the outer petals; the middle is two-celled; the lateral ones one-celled.
One; style persistent.
Very narrow straight pod, one to two inches long.
Pollinated by bees. Nectar-bearing.
Pale Corydalis loves a cool, moist home; it ranges across the continent within the Dominion of Canada, comes down into New England, and wanders along the mountain tops to North Carolina. The blossoms are odd, little, pink sacs with yellow mouths, hanging upside down along the tip of a slender stem.
Their appearance makes clear their family relationship; they are cousins of the Dicentras but seem to possess only part of the family equipment; in fact each looks like a flower cut in half. The general effect of the plant is extreme delicacy.
The Golden Corydalis, Corydalis aurea, blooms earlier than the pink species and is a denizen of rocky woodland banks, and ranges from Quebec to the Mackenzie River and as far south as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It is reported from northern Ohio, but is rare. The flowers are golden yellow and the outer petals ridged on the back. The seed-pods look beaded, not erect and straight like those of its pink sister. The blooming period extends from March to May.