We’re in the middle of an absolute scorcher of a week here in Birmingham (and elsewhere). Much has been made of the fact that we’ve been served an Amber weather warning for heat, but it ought to be noted that weather warnings for heat were only brought in as recently as June. As I’ve been diligently watering my Corydalis, Dicentras and friends (not strictly necessary, but it keeps them growing strongly through the hot weather so I have more opportunity for propagation), I’ve noticed a few cheery little volunteers popping up here and there. I thought I’d give you a run down of some seedlings I’ve been appreciating:

Corydalis Heterocarpa

This bold yellow biennial put on quite a show earlier this year, and produced an abundance of seeds. In the past, I’ve always collected the seed and sown it in pots; it never took the initiative and made a go of it of it’s own volition. This year is different: it’s laid out a modest carpet of glaucous-leaved seedlings in and around where the parent plants were growing.

Corydalis linstowiana

I like this plant more and more by the month. It’s supposedly another biennial, but this little renegade has appeared and flowered all within a single year. At hasn’t achieved the size of of those that choose the two year life style, but I love it’s seize-the-day attitude.

Corydalis ophiocarpa

Corydalis ophiocarpa is a right old ruffian when it comes to seedlings. It’s popping up here there and everywhere at the moment. It could hardly be called a nuisance as it’s easy enough to remove from unwanted spots, however it certainly doesn’t need any encouragement.

Capnoides sempervirens

This lovely little annual has cropped up in-between some of the herbaceous Corydalis. It’s pink and yellow flowers seem like an unlikely colour combination to my eyes; I guess if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Pseudofumaria lutea

For regular readers, this doesn’t really need an introduction. Despite being ousted from the Corydalis family fold, it’s often mentioned in the same breath as Corydalis, and it’s common name (Yellow corydalis) reinforces the bond. Anyway, I let it slowly colonise the edgelands, where it seems quite happy to make it’s living.

Adlumia fungosa

I saved the best for last. It took me a couple of months at least, to notice that Corydalis vivipara was, in fact, an ex-Corydalis vivipara and had actually been usurped by a stray Adlumia fungosa. Vavilovian mimicry of sorts. In theory, this is another biennial. To me, it looks suspiciously like it might be heading straight for flowering within the year, like our C. linstowiana friend featured above. Their usual modus operandi is to form a rosette of leaves in their first year, then to send out twining tendrils and to head upwards in their second. As you can see, this fine specimen has send a few tendrils out to nearby Corydalis calycosa to aide it’s ascent to the skies. I believe in nature they tend to sprawl and scramble rather than climb, but I feel this one’s got ambition, and who am I to doubt it?

That brings us to the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed meeting some of the opportunists I’ve found; they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. Stay cool!

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