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Corydalis selections


It's hard to find bright color for shade, so it's a puzzle that brightly colored corydalis isn't more widely planted. It's is an outstanding shade plant. Blooms are small, but they appear in clusters. Leaves look similar to those of fringe-leaf bleeding heart. Plants self-seed readily, but excess seedlings are easy to remove. Provide the plant with moist, organic soil for best growth.

Shown above: Yellow corydalis

Part Sun,Shade
Plant Type:
Plant Height:
12-18 inches tall
Plant Width:
12-18 inches wide
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Attracts Birds,Tolerates Wet Soil,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Corydalis 'Berry Exciting' has ferny golden leaves that set off the purple flowers. Hardy in Zones 5-9, it goes dormant in summer heat.
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Corydalis 'Blackberry Wine' sports fragrant wine-purple tubular flowers from late spring through early summer, or longer in cool climates. Zones 5-8
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Corydalis elata, at 16 inches in height in bloom, is taller than the other blue corydalis (C. flexuosa). Its cobalt blue blooms form a bit later and the plant is less likely to go dormant in summer. Zones 6-8
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Corydalis flexuosa 'Blue Panda', like other selections in the species, has elongated blue flowers with spurs in springtime. It dies down midsummer but reemerges for a fall encore. Its name is in reference to its origin in China. Zones 5-9
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Corydalis 'Canary Feathers' is a hybrid that features featherlike blue-green leaves and a flower spike of canary yellow blooms in spring and summer, with sporadic bloom in late summer and fall. Zones 6-8
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Corydalis flexuosa 'China Blue' is an outstanding fragrant selection of the species. Mulch to keep cool and moist; it may go dormant in midsummer's heat. Zones 5-9
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Corydalis ochroleuca is native to rocky woodlands of Europe. It grows and self-seeds in rock walls and other well-drained sites in Zones 5-9. Milky white blooms with yellow throats are borne on blue-green ferny foliage.
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Corydalis solida, sometimes called purple corydalis, grows 6-12 inches tall and bears reddish-purple flower clusters in spring. Zones 4-8
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Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf' emerges early in spring and bears clusters of blue flowers over purplish foliage. In warm weather regions, it will go dormant in summer. Zones 5-9
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Corydalis lutea blooms from spring to fall. Though it's short-lived, it self-seeds readily to make a free-flowering addition to a shady garden. Zones 5-8
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Corydalis solida 'Snowstorm' is a white form of the species. It is native to Latvia. Zones 4-8
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Plant It With

Gold-variegated hostas look especially attractive paired with yellow or blue corydalis in the shade garden.


The heart-shape leaves and orchidlike blooms of barrenwort appear to float in the air when teamed with the soft blue-green foliage and flowers of corydalis.

Solomon's seal

Upright arching Solomon's seal looks great with corydalis around its base. The variegated form in particular makes an outstanding backdrop for corydalis.