Before we get really stuck in to the abundance of flowers that is surely headed our way, I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate the vegetative qualities of a few Corydalis. Right through the winter, there have been a few evergreen Corydalis that have provided some interest through the darkest months of the year. The photos below were taken in late January but they’re pretty representative of the plants’ general winter attire.
Corydalis heterocarpa is an excellent biennial plant. If left to it’s own devices, it will flower and set seed in summer, with those seedlings forming a rosette of leaves for the winter, before flowering from spring through to summer. This is one of a few seedlings I transplanted into a thin border along the side of the greenhouse.
This evergreen Corydalis could be grown for it’s foliage alone. The bronze colour doesn’t stand out too well in the against the dry surface of leaf mould in the photo, but after a bit of rain it really holds it’s own.
Here’s another one that justifies it’s place in the garden through it’s leaves alone. It’s much smaller and lower growing than C. temulifolia but has a very similar habit. They both form fleshy scale leaves at ground level which to my eyes are a feature in their own right.
Corydalis x ‘Craigton Blue’
‘Craigton Blue’ is one of the most longstanding Corydalis in my garden and continues to perform year-round. The leaves are almost ever-present, sometimes with a slight break at the end of a hot summer, and it’s blue flowers are produced in abundance from late spring onwards.
Well there we are, a brief tour of a lesser known quality of the genus. Right now the tuberous Corydalis are beginning to appear and flower, taking all the attention away from the plants shown above. More on that soon! Later in the year, some of these evergreen Corydalis also produce flowers that draw the eye; C. anthriscifolia and temulifolia are really worth growing for their foliage alone.
Until next time, thanks for reading!