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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
1 to 3 feet
12-18 inches wide
more varieties for Corydalis
'Berry Exciting' corydalis
Corydalis 'Berry Exciting' has ferny golden leaves that set off the purple flowers. Hardy in Zones 5-9, it goes dormant in summer heat.
'Blackberry Wine' corydalis
Corydalis 'Blackberry Wine' sports fragrant wine-purple tubular flowers from late spring through early summer, or longer in cool climates. Zones 5-8
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
'Blue Panda' blue corydalis
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
'Canary Feathers' corydalis
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
'China Blue' blue corydalis
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
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.
Corydalis solida, sometimes called purple corydalis, grows 6-12 inches tall and bears reddish-purple flower clusters in spring. Zones 4-8
'Purple Leaf' corydalis
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
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
Corydalis solida 'Snowstorm' is a white form of the species. It is native to Latvia. Zones 4-8
plant Corydalis with
This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.
Barrenwort is a rare plant -- one that thrives in the dry shade beneath shallow-rooted trees! It spreads at a moderate rate, forming a graceful, dense groundcover. Almost as a bonus, it also produces dainty flowers shaped like a bishop's miter -- prompting another common name, bishop's cap. Its colorful foliage dangles on slender stalks, providing yet another moniker: fairy wings.
This elegant shade plant has gently arching stems and dangling creamy bells. Solomon's seal adds height and grace to shaded gardens in spring. It's an easy plant to grow, and will slowly colonize -- even in tough areas where shallow tree roots rob moisture and nutrients. The foliage turns golden in fall.