If you’ve followed any of my weblog adventures, you’ll know that the genus Corydalis could rightfully be called my ‘signature’ plant! For me, its all about the brilliant true blue flowers resembling a shoal of sea-horses that float above a sea of wavy fern like dark green foliage!
This smashing introduction was discovered in Sichuan, China by plant-hunting guru Daniel Hinkley. [another favourite amongst the plant hunting community!] This beguiling beauty boasts both the largest and darkest flowers within the blue flowering family, and the brilliant ruby infused stems seemingly radiate in the partly shaded woodland garden! A clumper, you can expect an overall height of 25cm with a spread of the same. For some, the dazzling flowers are fragrant, but I have yet to experience it! Hardiness varies between Z6-8, but this has hardly stopped me from cultivating them in my shaded border. SO far, so good! Adequate winter protection of compost and mulch has ensured their survival!
Of course, in order to be graced with true blue flowers in the garden, gardeners must come prepared for minor disappointment. Like most of the blue flowering species, this one is also prone to summer dormancy in areas where there is an abundance of heat, humidity, and a lack of consistent moisture! Easy enough, live in Oregon or keep it in a shady, moisture retentive soil that never dries out! I was graced with a perfect summer two years ago and boasted that my blue flowering species [of which I have three or four different ones!] bloomed from May through to October!
Zone 6-8 – perhaps lower with adequate winter protection. Morning sun with adequate afternoon shade. Moisture retentive, humus rich soil that never completely dries out. 25cm height and spread. Flowers mid summer, and if you’re truly blessed with a cool Fall, you may see another gorgeous flush of flowers – just in time to accompany your Aconitum!
Coming to LittleTree Horticulture Summer 2011!