I don’t know why I was expecting something bigger, but when I saw this little yellow-flowering plant I was excited and a little disappointed at the same time.
The color and shape of the flowers told me I was looking at Corydalis. I was still excited to see another new plant, even though it was a small one.
The whole plant of Corydalis is diminutive, from the full size and height to the leaves to the irregular flowers. Its small size lets this Spring Ephemeral hide among
other blooming plants like Spring Beauty and Common Violets.
The irregular flowers are bright yellow with pointy green sepals. Before the flower opens it has an ‘x’ shape where the petals meet at the tip of the flower.
As the flower enlarges the petals take shape into inner and outer petals. The outer petals at first enclose the inner petals that eventually project beyond the margins of the outer petals once the flower has opened.
Flowers are held in upright or horizontal positions. Once pollinated or fertilized, the flowers develop seeds within a seedpod that hangs in a downward position.
Leaves are highly divided and reminded me of parsley – the flat leaf kind.
We saw this small spring-blooming Corydalis at the edge of the woods at Little Buffalo State Park, on the Mill Race Trail close to Shoaff’s Mill. Photos taken 6 May 2014.