Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Corydalis
Corydalis elata

Family: Fumariaceae (foo-mar-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Corydalis (kor-ID-ah-liss) (Info)
Species: elata (el-AH-tuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Nov 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Much easier and longer lived than C. flexuosa in eastern North America.

Unlike C. flexuosa, which it resembles, it does not need perfect drainage, and it seems to be more tolerant of warm summers. This is not a bulb or tuber, but a regular clump-forming perennial that does not go dormant till frost.

Very similar to C. omeiana, which is often mixed up with C. elata in commerce---nurseries often sell C. omeiana labeled "C. elata."

I had it for a couple of years, but I allowed it to be crowded out by its neighbors.

A similar-looking hybrid, C. x 'Craigton Blue' (C. flexuosa x C. elata), seems to be more vigorous for me.

Positive GeeLily On Jun 20, 2008, GeeLily from Mission
Canada wrote:

Utterly delightful, but rather taller than I was expecting after growing other corydalis of more diminutive stature. Mine is about 2 1/2 ft. and magnificent, growing in rich soil with afternoon shade on a fairly sunny north side of the house (About 6 hrs full sun midday in summer.) It's increased in size at least 3x since it's purchase last spring. I love the scarlet hued stems and dotting on the leaves. The flowers are rich, intense TRUE cobalt BLUE! A hard to find colour indeed. Blooms June-Sept- If you like dicentras you'll love this plant. Does not self seed readily, (but I hope it will try this year.)

Positive karen_in_AK On May 30, 2007, karen_in_AK from Anchorage, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

I added this plant to my garden a couple of years ago (in 2004), and it's made it through the winter successfully every year since. A truly lovely plant, it's foliage is as attractive as the flowers. I successfully propagated a couple of plants this year from it's seed - which made me very happy since it was a "one time deal" from the nursery I originally got it from.

Positive JenniferE On Jun 13, 2006, JenniferE from Lebanon, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I tried (unsuccessfully) a few times to grow various Corydalis flexuosa varieties. I had almost given up on ever having the blue flowers of Corydalis until I tried elata. I am thrilled! I planted mine last year, and it survived and is now blooming. I am always in search of hardy perennials with truly blue flowers. (My definition of blue is significantly narrower than the one used by many catalogs and books.) I have found a winner here!

Positive jazmama On Aug 14, 2004, jazmama from Santa Cruz, CA wrote:

Very delicate. Leaves are lacy and grow in triplets, similar to Columbine.

Neutral Joy On Oct 13, 2001, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Fragrant cobalt blue. Blooms May-June with shade.
Rich moist soil. Does not grow dormant and is more upright than other types.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Santa Cruz, California
Camden, Maine
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Lexington, Massachusetts
Columbus, Ohio
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Moretown, Vermont
Kalama, Washington

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