Other common names: Yellow Corydalis and Yellow Harlequin.
A native herbaceous perennial with a small (.5"/1.3cm or so) bright yellow flower that blooms early and continues blooming for a couple of months. The plant ranges from ground cover height up to around 15"/38cm.
Range and Habitat: Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan in the west to New York in the east, southward to Florida and Louisiana. (USDA Range map) Found in open woods, primarily on rocky or sandy soil.
Herbal Lore: As is typical for a member of the Poppy order, Yellow Fumewort contains alkaloids. Native Americans placed the root on coals and inhaled the smoke to "clear the head". In earlier times, doctors may have used the astringent root to stop bleeding, for irregular menses, pain, diarrhea and dysentery. These past medicinal uses of Corydalis flavula are presented only for their historical value. Even small doses of Corydalis may be toxic. Symptoms include trembling and convulsions.
Sources and additional information and photos:
Connecticut Botanical Society
To see more nature photos or participate in Nature Notes, please visit Rambling Woods.