Pale Corydalis in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Pale Corydalis in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Pale Corydalis, Corydalis sempervirens, is a native plant found in the northeastern half of Minnesota. This pink and yellow flower can be found in the BWCA, as this one was. This photo was taken in late July of 2012. During late summer, thin green seedpods are produced, which later turn brown and release seeds. In the photo below you can see that the seedpod has turned a light brown, but has not yet released seeds.

 pale corydalis, corydalis sempervirens

Pale Corydalis, also called Rock Harlequin, blooms in the spring and summer from May – September. It is a member of the Fumitory family (Fumariaceae), a family that also includes the charming plant Dutchman’s Breeches.

This plant is not edible. It contains a narcotic alkaloid and can have a hallucinogenic effect when digested that can result in a slowed heart rate. Corydalis plants have been used historically as a sedative and painkiller, but this is not a recommended practice. It is best to just consider it a toxic plant.

Pale Corydalis Habitat

This plant can be found in dry, sunny areas and rocky, sandy soil. It prefers the cooler habitat of boreal forests and lake shores and is often found in rock outcroppings.


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