Content Detail

A lacy mound of blue-green foliage is covered with yellow blooms for several months starting in May. This woodland plant looks great in semi-shaded rock gardens and will replant itself in nooks and crannies around your yard. The foliage is semi-evergreen.

  • Family (English) Poppy
  • Family (botanic) Papaveraceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches), Medium plant (12-24 inches)
  • Light exposure Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Mounded
  • Growth rate Moderate


Yellow corydalis is 9 to 15 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide, growing in mounded clumps.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to southeastern European woodlands.

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

The plant is pollinated by bees.

Leaf description: 

Blue-green leaves consist of three leaflets, usually lobed. They have long leaf stems and give the plant a fern-like appearance.

Flower description: 

Small yellow tubular flowers with a flared lip bloom abundantly from May until September.

Fruit description: 

The fruit is a small green pod with black seeds inside

Plant care:

Plant in a well-drained, partly sunny location. Prefers slightly alkaline soil and sandy or rocky soils with sharp drainage. If the plant dries out or starts to yellow during the summer, cut back to basal foliage for fresh, new growth. This species self-sows and can easily reseed in shady, moist conditions. To avoid reseeding, cut foliage to the ground after several killing frosts and remove the cuttings.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

None serious. It is resistant to rabbits.


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift