Thursday, January 21, 2016

Corydalis ophiocarpa

You would think that plants that survive the winter without going dormant would have tough, thick foliage, impervious to the freeze and thaw cycles they will need to endure.  Corydalis ophiocarpa puts and end to that myth.  It has delicate, ferny foliage and is not a ground hugging rosette the way many that stick around all winter are.  The only real change, other than looking all frosty and icy some mornings, is that the foliage can get a more bronzy tone to it.  This is a rather prolific self-seeder, so running out of plants isn't really going to be a problem. It also pulls out easily, so if it spreads around too much, it is easy to get back under control.   It is a shade lover, mostly, but we also have it growing in some pretty sunny spots.  The flowers are creamy white and the plants range from under a foot tall to over 2 feet tall.  They are native to the eastern Himalayas.  Ours are all the progeny of one packet of seeds planted back in the mid 1990s.

And here is a photo from last summer when it was in bloom.

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