Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thug And Semi-Thug Corydalis

Cotydalis is a genus that I am very fond of, but its numbers include a couple of plants that I would only invite into your garden if you treasure that crowded look. Corydalis lutea at top, and Corydalis ochroleuca below, both are actually very attractive plants; the former with sulfur yellow flowers and very bright green foliage and the latter with cool off-white flowers and bluish-green foliage. The foliage in both plants stays very crisp and attractive here, through heat and dryness that send most corydalis plants scurrying underground.
However, this toughness reflects an equally tenacious desire to overtake large swaths of the garden. Lutea is just a berserk seeder; ochroleuca I thought was far more demure, but I'm now thinking it is just a more subtle invader; it is quite lovely and rather delicate looking and just sits there quietly for a year or two, but then you start noticing that there are some awfully big patches of it around in places they shouldn't be, and it is even showing up in flower beds some distance away, where you absolutely know you didn't plant it. It's one of those plants that seems too pretty to pull up, but it's either pull it or just turn over the keys to the garden.

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I could use something that would take over the pokeweed. Does it like shade and neglect?
thanks, Judith
I have C lutea in my front garden, by the side gate. It's very difficult to dislike, as it always looks so fresh and cheerful. I tear out a few chunks every now and again or it would block the pathway. I don't think I'd be quite so happy if it made a break for the back garden, though. BTW, thanks for the comment over on my blogs. I have three ponds already (well, a pond and two tubs) but I love the idea of a froggy pond with an island. An island big enough for me to live on would be great.
I planted Corydalis flexuosa "Blackberry Wine" last summer. I hope it does well. I seem to remember you having a post on this once. Hope it grows! :-)
Judith... loves shade, loves neglect (ie, turning your back on it).

Victoria... I'm with you; both of these corydalis always look so perky, it's hard to rip them out. By the by, your garden is extremely cool!

Shady... my Blackberry did great until it got a bad late freeze, and has never really recovered. It comes up VERY early in the spring and is subject to freeze.

I definitely agree with 'lutea'... it was sprouting up everywhere, but I thought I would like the yellow burst of colour in the shaded section...
Instead I have gone to the blue flowering 'flexuosa' and 'elata'... both form nice clumps but behave themselves, and besides true blue in the garden... let it run rampant if it so desires I say! Great blog, still trying to absorb everything, one month, one year at a time
Corydalis! oh, that makes me laugh at the memories!

i bought one, ONE, plant a few years ago. now...i can't get rid of it, it's spreading and taking over and popping up all over and just exploding all over my beds. i don't really mind. it's easy to pull up and control,, and the bloom is so wicked and delicate and interesting. didn't know it came in so many colors, perhaps i'll pick up some more this year. i'm glad to see others enjoy it/battle with it like i do, though.
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