Capnoides Species, Pale Corydalis, Tall Corydalis, Rock Harlequin

Capnoides sempervirens

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capnoides (kap-NOH-ih-deez) (Info)
Species: sempervirens (sem-per-VY-renz) (Info)
Synonym:Capnoides glauca
Synonym:Corydalis annua
Synonym:Corydalis glauca
Synonym:Corydalis rosea
Synonym:Corydalis sempervirens
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Anchorage, Alaska

Palmer, Alaska

Wasilla, Alaska

Fairfield, California

Oakland, California

Richmond, California

Roseville, California

Derby, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Brockton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Saint Helen, Michigan

West Branch, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Litchfield, New Hampshire

Croton On Hudson, New York

New York City, New York

Portugal Cove-st. Philip's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Asheville, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Pembina, North Dakota

Clackamas, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Leesburg, Virginia

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 18, 2016, Ancolie88 from Innsbruck,
Austria (Zone 6b) wrote:

This wonderful fumewort is for gardeners who want to take a closer look. It hase a fine coloration and looks very fragil but I love it


On Oct 5, 2014, JenDion from Litchfield, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

While I rarely find a plant I need to make a negative posting for, I have to admit, as an experience gardener, with limited room and time, that I agree completely with Coriaceous's comments posted 5/8.

Dead on.


On May 8, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This plant is annual to biennial, and persists through self-sowing. It doesn't grow as a perennial anywhere. It is native to northern North America---its native range extends well into northern Canada to the shore of Hudson's Bay.

I've found this to be an annoyingly persistent weed. Flowers are pretty on close inspection but very small and not profuse enough to give a good garden display. Foliage is a good blue-green, but not dense enough to make a significant impact. Habit is gangly and sprawling.

Re-seeds to annoying proportions, and is very persistent. Insists on placing itself in the cracks between paving stones, where it gets stepped on and looks even more like a weed.

I like to be able to edit my gardens, and if this proves to be a mista... read more


On May 7, 2014, Jazzy705 from Timmins, Ontario,
Canada wrote:

I found this plant growing in a sparse colony on top of a rock outcrop in a very remote area of forest in the Timmins area ( we are zone 2b here). I brought one plant home where it flourished and made a LOT of seeds last year, but I have yet to see new plants this year as we have had a very long winter and there is still snow in the bush. I do hope to see this again, it's very beautiful and it fits right in my garden.


On Jul 1, 2013, silversage45 from Augusta, ME wrote:

We were delighted to see that seed of this plant had come along with us when we moved from a nearby farm to our central Maine lakeside home 35 years ago. It has been a delightful presence along the border of the vegetable garden ever since. If it attempts to move into the vegetable bed, the occasional seedling is easily eradicated by simply disturbing the soil where it is emerging. We have not found it to be a nuisance in any way.


On May 13, 2011, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very Lovely plant. It has a delicate look with great color combination. Have not fond it to be invasive, and actually would love for it to invade a space..ha!


On Apr 17, 2011, wnc_native from Asheville, NC wrote:

My wife and I live in Asheville.. Kenilworth. And have been landscaping our 1920's home for 11 yrs. We were re-doing the flower bed on the north side of our home and the plant was coupled with a columbine. We haven't seen the plant in our neighborhood. Thought it was interesting that it just showed up.


On Jul 29, 2010, foxtrax from Plymouth, IN wrote:

I found this beautiful plant growing in Ontario, Canada, Zone 3 A.


On Nov 21, 2009, sillybug5 from Winston Salem, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this plant. I have never found it to be invasive, as some reviewers have said. I only wish it was for me! I have grown it off and on for 30 years. Here in the South and in Massachusetts. You rarely see a flower with this color combination. The contrast with the blue green leaf is striking. A favorite.


On Apr 19, 2009, joeswife from (Debra) Derby, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

Love it it grows in my rock garden and is very pretty.. new for me, will have some for trades at end of summer


On Jan 6, 2009, canipity from Parkesburg, PA wrote:

Bought one of these beautiful plants at a local nursery. It flowered wonderfully. I planted it but the next year I was sad to see it did not come back. A month later I was cleaning out a corner of old flower pots and was wonderfully suprised to find four new babies, flowers and all growing out of a pot filled with dirt and broken bottles. Don't know how the seeds made it there but I was. Needless to say I picked out the glass and spinkled spent seeds back in the pot. Hope I'll have new babies next year. And yes the plant was advertised as an perennial, but now I see it's probably a reseeding annual.


On Jun 21, 2008, Sarahskeeper from Brockton, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I found it growing at the top of a rocky hill under power lines. It's got to be tough.


On Jul 28, 2007, aguy1947 from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, NL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Growing it in 2007 as a gift... The information here c.f. self-seeding is very important. I thought it might be perennial, but a self-seeding annual can be a nuisance. Many thanks to previous contributors concerning this item. Note: I do like the foliage and the flowers.


On Sep 27, 2006, Grasmussen from Anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) wrote:

While C. sempervirens has beautiful little flowers it reseed profusely and will take over a flower bed. It is only suitable for wild areas. It grows as both an annual and a biannual. Seeds witch germinate early in the season will bloom and die in one season, but seeds witch germinate late in the season will over winter and bloom the second season. Seed can remain dormant for many years. Once it has seeded into disturbed soil, it will continue to reappear for a long time. I have been pulling it from one area for the past four years, and the area is currently full of sempervirens.


On Jun 20, 2005, MN_Darren from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Rock Harlequin grows wild in Northern Minnesota, which is where I got the seeds to start mine. They have a strange tendency to appear and disappear from year to year. I think that the plants are biennial. Full sized plants never show up the following year. One year I'll have a couple, the next year, none will be visible, then the following year I'll have dozens. Sprinkle the seeds and just let them do their thing. Definitely could become invasive, but prodigal. The form is very similar to a columbine, though it's actually a relative of the bleeding hearts. The bluish foliage is interesting. Mine usually bloom from May to June, starting even before the Aquillegias.


On May 18, 2003, CindyLouhoo wrote:

I just found one of these at our camp near Clearfield, Pennsylvania. It was just starting to bloom and I hope to be able to harvest seeds from it.


On Jan 16, 2001, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Corydalis sempervirens is a hardy annual. The foliage is a blue green and is multilobed. The flowers are pink with a yellow tip and have a single spur. They are also known as Capnoides sempervirens. They grow between 8-30" and do best in full light in dry gravelly soil and in open woodlands. These flower from July to September and favor climates with cold winters and cool summers. These flowers set a lot of seed and my have a tendancy to be invasive if not kept in check. This is a very pretty flower.