The Corydalis lutea is native to the southern part of the Alps and the Jura. From there it has spread in central and western Europe. The Corydalis lutea is also named Pseudofumaria lutea. The genus Pseudofumaria used to belong to the Fumariaceae but has later been re-assigned to the poppy family (Papaveraceae). Both scientific names are accepted. The Corydalis lutea is commonly called yellow Corydalis, (yellow) fumewort or (yellow) fumitory.
The word corydalis derives from the Greek word korydalis and means ‘crested lark’. Lutea is Latin and means ‘yellow’.
The yellow Corydalis prefers slightly acid, humusy, well-drained soil in part shade, but also grows in full sun and shade. Actually it will find a place for its self. They also grow in holes and cracks in a wall. The Corydalis lutea appears spontaneously and grows best when neglected.
The Corydalis lutea does not give an abundant bloom, but is does bloom for a long time.
The ripe seeds are dark-brown with a fleshy “elaiosome” which covers part of the seeds. We call those ‘ant bread’ in the Netherlands. Ants use the elaiosomes to feed their larvae. Because they are attached to the seed, the ants will spread the seeds. That can be on the road to the nest if the seed falls off. Or if the ant bites the seed off in the nest and transports it outside as waste.
The stems are very brittle which is why this plant is best moved while small. The plants are easily removed from unwanted places.
The yellow Corydalis is usually intolerant of hot and humid summer conditions.
Attracts bees: no
Characteristic: newly emerging every year
Deer resistant: yes
Exposure: part shade/shade
Flower color: yellow
Flowering time: May – October
Foliage color: green
Fragrant flower: no
Hardiness: -20 ºC/ -4 ºF
Height: 16 inches/ 40 cm