Corydalis cheilanthifolia

Corydalis cheilanthifolia

Corydalis cheilanthifolia photo credit:R. Maurer

Emerging out of the cracks and crevices of the stone wall within the Scott Entrance Garden is a perennial with fern-like foliage and an upright spike of yellow flowers. Commonly know as the ferny corydalis, Corydalis cheilanthifolia can stump the plant aficionado.

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Corydalia cheilanthifolia growing in the stone wall in the Scott Entrance garden. photo credit: R. Robert

While not a member of the fern family, the semi-evergreen fern-like foliage is often the source of confusion. Ferny corydalis is easily identifiable when in bloom from spring to early summer. The spike-like racemes of straight-spurred deep yellow flowers are representative of the corydalis genera.

A native of western and central China, Corydalis cheilanthifolia thrives in full to part sun with well drained soil. This is great plant to allow to self-seed in your garden. It also appreciates the moderately fertile soil of a rock garden.

In addition to sprouting from the wall in the Scott Entrance garden, this plant is creating a home in the John W. Nason garden.

Becky Robert
  • Lisa Portale
    Posted at 15:41h, 28 April Reply

    I have one that I obtained from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society plant trade. Unfortunately my naturalawn technician sprayed it and I need to replace it. Are you aware of anywhere that I can purchase one for this replacement? I’ve looked on the internet and see seeds for sale, but no plants.

    • Mary Tipping
      Posted at 13:04h, 29 April Reply


      You are in luck. Paxson Hill Farm in New Hope, PA has this plant in-stock. They are permitting curb-side pick-up if you place and pay for your order in advance.


      Mary Tipping
      Scott Arboretum

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