Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Yellow Corydalis
Corydalis lutea

Family: Fumariaceae (foo-mar-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Corydalis (kor-ID-ah-liss) (Info)
Species: lutea (LOO-tee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Pseudofumaria lutea

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-12 in. (15-30 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:
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
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)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #1 of Corydalis lutea by Equilibrium

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By designart
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There are a total of 20 photos.
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8 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jan 26, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I like this plant for many of the reasons that have been mentioned: its lacy foliage and its constant bloom from June till hard frost, and its shade tolerance. It emerges from dormancy in very early spring, and does not share space well with early spring bulbs.

Blooms in deeper shade than any other hardy plant I know (except its close relation Corydalis ochroleuca, which is very similar except for flower color.) Best in partial shade with well drained soil and consistent moisture. It hates hot summers, and flowering may pause for a couple of weeks when we get a heat wave.

I find that newly planted nursery plants often look good for a month or two, then die. But if I'm patient, I'll find new seedlings around a few months later. These become longer-lived plants.

This plant is taprooted, and both roots and stems are soft and brittle and easily damaged. Seedlings transplant much more easily than mature plants, but I find that even larger plants often move successfully if before digging I chop off all the topgrowth.

I've also successfully started new plantings by chopping off a handful of topgrowth (leaves, flowers, and old seedpods) and scattering it where I want new seedlings.

Seed of most corydalis tends to be ephemeral. It's best used immediately and does not store well.

Self-sowing varies a lot from year to year. I wouldn't plant this next to small plants I value, as in some years self-sowing can border on weediness, but in other years I see hardly any. And yes, this can be picky about where it wants to go. It really likes the cracks in dry laid stone walls.

Positive Eldine On May 12, 2013, Eldine from Wellsville, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

This grows in my zone 4 garden. Got it from a friend and finally found out its name. Survives in sun but likes part shade. I've also found it pops up in strange places. I have not had a problem transplanting it- I even put it in pots and its looks nice all summer- has pretty, lacey foliage and cute yellow flowers.

Positive bonehead On Nov 23, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Cheerful sprays of yellow tubular flowers May-Sep. Ferny foliage with a light outline. Self-sows much like johnny-jump-up, you never know where it will turn up. Easy to pull out, so not particulary invasive.

Negative outdoorlover On Apr 3, 2008, outdoorlover from Enid, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant did not survive its first winter. Although it could be because I bought it as a transplant, and did not grow it from seed. Wish it had worked out. May try later with seeds.

Neutral Malus2006 On Apr 2, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Fully zone 4 hardy, tend to be a strange plant. It bruises and snap off easily when raking leaves in early spring as they send up leaves in late summer to fall. They goes dormant in long hot summer days and is strange about their seedling habits - sulk or spread rapidly. Like the above information, doesn't transplant well - currently I have two plants. Hardly rare - just difficult to transplant - often gardener get them when they hitchhike on another plant's pot from fellow growers - landscape companies' environment is too hostile for them to seed freely. The plants in my yard are in woodland shade and have some competitions hence their sulky habit.

Positive kooger On Oct 13, 2006, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I enjoy this plant very much. It always looks pretty and reblooms again and again. It does self-sow very easily so I share the babies. A quick hoe or pull would take care of the volunteers or perhaps a sprinkle of 'Preen'-type product around it would also help control the seedlings. I do not consider it invasive.

Positive sanity101 On May 21, 2005, sanity101 from Dublin, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

One of the few things that grows reliably and blooms all summer in our shady yard. The yellow flowers are an extra plus with so many shade plants flowering in more somber colors. Establishes quickly and seeds willingly, but not obnoxiously or far. Very delicate looking foliage. Growing in loamy/clay soil.

Negative vickiann On Jan 18, 2005, vickiann from Lady Lake, FL wrote:

I live on 120 acres in central Florida and this plant shows up in the waste areas of my horse pastures during the winter months. It is especially prolific during our coldest weather (December through February) when it is often the only green thing there. We get freezing temperatures but it doesn't seem to freeze so must be quite cold hardy. After the plant completes its growth cycle and the seeds are produced it completely dies back and disappears during our hot, humid months. It is very palatable, and the horses seek it out like pigs on truffles. Unfortunately, ingestion causes mouth sores, gingivitis, colic and sudden death of horses if enough is ingested. I never planted this and diligently must pull it up to protect my equines. How it arrived in my pasture is a mystery, but in my setting (it loves growing in my "sand hill" location, especially under the oak trees) it must be described as a dangerous invasive. It is correctly identified and pictured in a well distributed book on toxic weeds for horse owners, although the book incorrectly shows it as not growing in Florida. It has been here for several years and seems to spread to new areas of my pasture each year in spite of my faithful weeding. Twice I have had sick horses due to it.

Positive designart On Nov 17, 2004, designart from Schwenksville, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Rare perennial in that is has beautiful foliage and attractive flowers the entrie summer! Likes semi-shade with gravely/sandy soil. Prospers around stone walls or in decorative gravel. Transplants poorly. Self sows and some may consider a 'weed' but it is very easily removed and somewhat picky as to location.

Positive lupinelover On Nov 18, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a very long-flowering perennial; often blooms from April through November. Tends to self-sow exuberently in good growing conditions.

Established plants do not transplant well; best grown from seed, or establish new seedlings in pots for later transplanting.

Positive Terry On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easy to grow from seed; bloomed the first year. The gray/blue fern-like foliage is very delicate-looking.


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

Juneau, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska
Littleton, Colorado (2 reports)
Centerbrook, Connecticut
Oxford, Connecticut
Lady Lake, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Lula, Georgia
Caldwell, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Homewood, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois
Plainfield, Illinois
Inwood, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Portland, Maine
Middletown, Maryland
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Adrian, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Grand Blanc, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota (3 reports)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Piedmont, Missouri
Litchfield, New Hampshire
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Wellsville, New York
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Coshocton, Ohio
Dublin, Ohio
Monroe, Ohio
Tipp City, Ohio
Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon
Albion, Pennsylvania
Easton, Pennsylvania
Export, Pennsylvania
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Woodlawn, Tennessee
Norwich, Vermont
Charlottesville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Freeland, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Mountlake Terrace, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Genoa City, Wisconsin
Porterfield, Wisconsin

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