This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Corydalis solida jumps the shark

Well, here's another taxon that I have to chase down into the woods with my backpack Roundup sprayer. SO SORRY for those who took to heart my previous effusive accolades for this species, Corydalis solida (sorry, no common name).

C. solida is a spring bulb that begins flowering with the early crocuses. There are some beautiful forms, such as the brick red George Baker cultivar. I have one with a pure white flower that I received from a grower in Latvia. Or was that Lithuania? But generally you commonly get horrid shades of mauve and wussy pinks.

The common mauve type, not very pretty in situ
I started to get suspicious of this species last fall when I noticed that a large population had sprung up on my property alongside Waterloo Road. A few individuals had even jumped to the other side of the road, which I think means that this species is now eligible for a listing in michiganflora . This spring the plant has showed up most EVERYWHERE in my garden.

I am terrified of the possibility of introducing a new weed into our woodlands. I am equally terrified that it would be obvious where the weed came from. I would live the rest of my life in shame.

For the record, there is one native species of Corydalis (syn. Capnoides), the attractive 'rock harlequin' that grows in disturbed gravelly habitats further north. Two other species -- one with yellow flowers, the other white -- are not uncommon garden plants.

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