Corydalis (Fumewort) Profile

Written by Iris

Aug 17 2021

Corydalis (Fumewort) Profile
Essential for a cool garden, corydoria is sprayed early in the season with bright flowers and delicate leaves. Finding plants that flower well in shady conditions can be a bit of a challenge, but corydalis can easily light up even in deep shade. Lace, fern leaves appear in late winter, from early spring to early summer, and sometimes even longer, clusters of small, tubular, often fragrant flowers cover the plant.

Corydalis (Fumewort)  Picture


Corydalis (Fumewort)  Info

Botanical Name Corydalis canadensis
Common Name Fumewort, hollow wort, turkey corn
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Size 12 to 18 inches
Sun Exposure Shade to partial sun
Soil Type Rich, well-drained, slightly alkaline
Soil pH 5.0 - 7.0
Bloom Time Spring

Ecological Habits of Corydalis (Fumewort)

Corydalis are low growing annuals, biennials or tuberous perennials with slender stems and small clumps of lush-green foliage. Tubular flowers form showy clustered sprays that neatly decorate the foliage throughout spring. They are best planted in flower beds and borders within cottage, informal and wildflower gardens. You should expect to see Corydalis grow to an approximate height and spread of 15-50cm (6-20”) dependant on variety.

Corydalis (Fumewort) Distribution Area

The plant is widespread in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The largest number of species grows in China, where they are located in the highlands.

How to Grow and Care for Corydalis (Fumewort)

How to Grow Corydalis (Fumewort)

  • With Seeds
The seed method is probably the most common for the propagation of this flower. Varieties such as Corydalis dense, Marshall’s and bracts reproduce very easily by seeds and often even form self-seeding.
For propagation by seeds, you can use planting material collected from garden plants. When using such seeds, flowers are protected only by specific, and not varietal characteristics, therefore, the appearance of the resulting bushes can be strikingly different from the mother flowers.
Sowing is carried out in the summer months, using small flower greenhouses with transparent lids or individual cups.
There should be drainage holes at the bottom of the container, and for the first time, a moisture-wicking layer in the form of expanded clay or broken brick is laid.
The cups are filled with soil consisting of sod and leaf humus, peat with a large amount of river sand in the composition. Seeds are sown to a depth of about 0.5 – 1 cm, covered with earth and thoroughly moistened with a spray bottle.
Planting seedlings in open ground is carried out in the spring when the snow melts and the last night frosts leave. The first buds will be decorated with Corydalis plant grown from seeds for 3-4 years of life and often on each bush there will be only 1 – 2 flowers.
  • With Rhizomes
By dividing the rhizomes, it is possible to propagate the Corydalis. The division of plants aged 3 to 5 years is carried out during transplantation. Bushes are dug out of the ground. shake off the soil residues from the root system and cut into pieces.
For division, a sharpened, sterile knife is used. As a result of division, each part should receive its own root system with a renewal bud.
Do not worry if the delenka does not have tubers – after planting for some time, these plants will be able to form new nodules.
The wound surface, which appeared during division, is treated with charcoal powder or wood ash for drying and disinfection.
Delenka are seated in new areas and watered. It is worth placing such plants in partial shade – direct sunlight immediately after division can cause additional stress.

How to Care for Corydalis (Fumewort)

  • Light
Corydalis are shade lovers, and useful to brighten up shady spots in your garden with color. They can tolerate some sun, but afternoon sun would probably be too much for them, especially in zone 7 during hotter summer temperatures.
  • Soil
Corydalis prefers well-drained, rich soil that is not too wet.
  • Water
The corydalis needs a lot of water, but they can’t be allowed to sit in water for long periods of time. They can be watered once or twice a week, especially when it gets hot.
  • Temperature and Humidity
Plant corydalis in a cool shady spot. Basic temperate humidity is appropriate for these naturalizing shade plants. These flowers are somewhat fussy about temperature and will not survive in growing zones lower than 5 or higher than 7.
  • Pruning
After the formation of seed pods and the maturation of the planting material, the entire ground part of the flower begins to wither and finally dies off completely. Dry leaves can be cut off, but there is no need to rush to cut – the leaf blades feed the underground tuber until the last moment and help it stock up on food for development in the next season.

Uses of Corydalis (Fumewort)

The flower is used in folk medicine to treat many diseases, but it should be used with caution – the plant is poisonous. Large doses of plant materials can cause severe poisoning; you should also not use bushes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 
Corydalis plant is believed to relieve nervous tension, promote muscle relaxation and help lower blood pressure.
Plants also have antimicrobial properties, and therefore they are used to treat purulent wounds and trophic ulcers. Corydalis plant is used as a hemostatic and analgesic agent.
For medical purposes, all parts of the plant are used, from tubers to flowers, and they are harvested at different times. The green mass is cut off immediately after flowering – at this time it has the highest concentration of nutrients.
Tubers and rhizomes are dug out of the ground in the autumn months – during this period, the leaves managed to transfer all the reserves of nutrients to them.

Varieties of Corydalis (Fumewort)

Corydalis Dense Or Haller -Corydalis Solida
A widespread variety in horticultural culture, on the basis of which many modern varieties and hybrids have been bred. Represents compact plants up to 15 – 30 cm high with dissected leaves with rounded segments.
Corydalis Solida Beth Evans
Blooming perennials up to 25 cm high with delicate, light green leaves and large pink buds. The center of the flowers is often colored lighter, pink.
Corydalis ‘george Baker’
Small bushes grow up to 15 – 30 cm and during the flowering period they throw out peduncles with large inflorescences of bright and large flowers of a red or pink hue.
Corydalis Yellow – Corydalis Lutea
The Corydalis lutea is quite a large corydalis, widespread in Europe. It is a decorative perennial with emerald green leaves and small inflorescences on the tops of the shoots. The buds are painted in a bright yellow shade. The flowering period can come at any time from May to September. Corydalis lutea reaches a height of 30 – 45 cm.
Corydalis Hollow – Corydalis Cava
Most often used in traditional medicine. Plants are native to Turkey, Iran and the Caucasus. Early flowering perennials up to 15 cm in height. Plants of this species need cool stratification during seed propagation. When grown outdoors, may be prone to rot.
Corydalis  Marshall  – Corydalis Marschalliana Pers
The corydalis subspecies is hollow, characterized by cream or pale yellow flowers. In its natural habitat, it grows in the Balkans, Crimea, the Caucasus and north-west Iran.

Corydalis (Fumewort) Common Pests/Diseases

The corydalis plant has an enviable resistance to a variety of diseases and pests. In lowlands and areas of stagnant water, plant roots may rot. When humidity is too high and air circulation is insufficient, fungal diseases can occur. Viral diseases show up in leaves with spots and deformed buds that are different from flowers, and the affected plants cannot be treated -- they are destroyed. When planted outdoors, moles and small rodents can taste the roots of the flowers. Nematodes attack the tubers of harmful insects.

Corydalis (Fumewort) Companion Plants


This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners—it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall. Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged—the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.

Solomon's Seal

This elegant shade plant has gently arching stems and dangling creamy bells. Solomon's seal adds height and grace to shaded gardens in spring. It's an easy plant to grow, and will slowly colonize—even in tough areas where shallow tree roots rob moisture and nutrients. The foliage turns golden in fall.


Barrenwort is a rare plant, one that thrives in the dry shade beneath shallow-rooted trees! It spreads at a moderate rate, forming a graceful, dense groundcover. Almost as a bonus, it also produces dainty flowers shaped like a bishop's miter, prompting another common name: bishop's cap. Its colorful foliage dangles on slender stalks, providing yet another moniker: fairy wings.