How To Grow Corydalis solida In The Spring Flower Garden

Corydalis solida is a member of the poppy family and at least 200 different species of this plant are known. For the most part, they are easy to grow sometimes too easy and turn into rampant weeds. I was enticed to grow C. ophiocarpa one year and it took me the next 5 years to eliminate it from my garden.

Corydalis lutea on the other hand is a hardy perennial for me and while it gets a trifle weedy, its bright yellow flowers bloom constantly from early May until late October in my part shade garden.

corydalis solida

Corydalis solida

The interesting thing is that while some of the family comes from seed, C. solida comes from a tuber and you can easily find them in good garden shops or on the Net.

Just for the Record

The word Corydalis comes from the Latin korydalis meaning crowned lark as the markings on the flower resemble (a bit of a stretch here) the tufted crown of a lark.

Cultivation Requirements

Plant the tuber so the base is approximately 5-10 cm or 2-3 inches deep.

It should be in the part shade for best results. Note that it will grow nicely in slightly deeper shade if adequate moisture is available.

It will not be overly happy in full sun or dry conditions. Space the tubers approximately 3-5 inches apart.

Because it is a woodland type of plant in the wild, it will perform best if given these conditions. Don’t put it out in the mixed perennial border in full sun and expect it to thrive.

Flowers and Leaves

Corydalis solida flowers are a pinkish purple (sounds terrible but it is actually quite nice). The leaves have a blue tone to them and they are glaucous (thick and fleshy) so they are quite attractive by themselves.

You should see blooms in late spring to very early summer. The flowers will stand up approximately 7-9 inches.

Book cover spring bulbs

Landscape Use

Besides the shade garden and shady rock garden, you might consider letting this plant naturalize under shrubs and trees.


Yes. You won't have to worry about that. It loves to propagate itself from seed and simply taking the seedlings out will give you more than any gardener in their right mind would want.

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