Corydalis flavula (Raf.) DC - Pale Corydalis
Family - Fumariaceae
Stems - To 30cm tall, multiple from base or simple, from stout taproot, branching above, sub-succulent, angled, erect to ascending, glaucous, reddish.
Leaves - Alternate, glabrous, glaucous, dull green. Lowest leaves petiolate (the petioles to +7cm long), pinnately divided. Ultimate divisions entire, acute to mucronate. Upper leaves sessile or short petiolate, reduced, pinnately lobed. Lobes entire, acute to mucronate.
Inflorescence - Axillary racemes to 8cm long, elongating in fruit. Flowers on pedicels 7-10mm long. Pedicels elongating and drooping in fruit, glabrous. Each pedicels subtended by a glabrous foliaceous bract. Bracts to 1cm long, 7mm broad, acute.
Flowers - Corolla yellow, irregular. Petals 4, unequal, slightly joined at base. Uppermost petal spurred, to 1cm long, glabrous. Apex of upper petal toothed, undulate, to 5mm broad. Spur to -3mm long, curved downward slightly. Inner 2 petals connate around the 6 stamens. Stamens diadelphous. Sepals 2, early deciduous.
Fruit - Terete to slightly compressed capsule to 2.5cm long, 2.5mm in diameter, glabrous, pendant. Seeds black, shiny, 2mm in diameter, with a tuberculate keel.
Flowering - April - May.
Habitat - Moist slopes, low woods, ravines.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - The woodland plants are some of the earliest to bloom in Missouri. This plant is no exception. The little yellow flowers are easy to find along slopes and ravines in spring. You will most likely find this plant accompanied by others such as Dicentra, Asarum, Phlox, and Ranunculus.
Photographs taken at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, Boone County, MO., 3-27-04.