Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Golden Corydalis

To match this exciting week in Iowa politics, it’s only fitting to share an exciting wildfower. Eileen Miller contributed the spectacular photographs of Golden Corydalis (Corydalis aurea), as well as the commentary. Although this plant is native to Iowa and much of North America, I’ve never seen it in real life–only in wildflower guides.

This post is also an open thread: all topics welcome.


by Eileen Miller

Only after posting a photo of the delicate yellow flowers and blue-green foliage of Golden Corydalis did I learn that the plant is on our list of state-threatened species. John Pearson, botanist/ecologist, with the DNR, pointed this out to me. He also said that this plant had never been recorded in Carroll county, which is where I’ve seen it bloom in May for years.

Now I realize that Corydalis aurea is a rare, native plant found in scattered localities throughout the state. According to the map that John Pearson sent me, it’s been recorded in Dickinson, Cerro Gordo, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Harrison, Warren, Marion, Poweshiek, Muscatine, Appanoose, Van Buren, and now, Carroll counties.

This short, delicate plant of the Poppy family (Papaveraceae) grows in sandy/gravelly soils. Its flowers are found in clusters at the top of the plant. After flowering, the plant produces finger-like seed pods.

The five photos below are of the flowers, foliage and seed pods of this soft-spoken, amazing little plant.

Golden Corydalis flowers photo IMG_0277_edited-2_zps8332a6d1.jpg

Golden Corydalis flowers 3 photo IMG_0265_edited-2_zpsd05898fa.jpg

Golden Corydalis flowers 2 photo IMG_0249_edited-2_zps796d81c4.jpg

Golden Corydalis foliage photo IMG_0625_edited-2_zpsf2458f2c.jpg

 photo IMG_0621_edited-2_zps36fd23ae.jpg

Tags: Wildflowers

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