Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Yellow Fumewort (Corydalis flavula)

On March first, the blooms on the Yellow Fumewort down in our woods had not yet opened

Yellow Fumewort
(Corydalis flavula)

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.

By March sixth, a few of the blooms were just beginning to open.

Sources and additional information and photos:
Connecticut Botanical Society
Missouri Plants

To see more nature photos or participate in Nature Notes, please visit Rambling Woods.



Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Spring is late this year just about everywhere (except here where there isn't any spring really at all.) It's a sweet yellow flower though and a brave one to show up so early.

Bill came in from outside a minute ago and I showed him your icy picture (in the post below). He said the red on the icicle is berry juice -- and I bet he's right. Anyway he agreed that the picture is amazing.

KaHolly said...

And so it begins!! How very exciting. Such a pretty little harbinger of spring.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OH gosh, you are going tomake me go out to see if my cordyalis is up let alone blooming. For a plant that looks so delicate they sure are tough.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I've never seen that plant here, but perhaps because I haven't looked. Do you and Jo take your cameras with you when you go strolling about the property? I noticed that the first photo was yours and the second hers. I failed to notice, until today, that the beautiful photo of the berries in ice was a Jo photo. Well done, Jo.

Mike B. @ said...

The leaves look a bit like Bleeding Heart leaves which are starting to come up out of the ground here now. I wonder if they are related?

Shanae Branham said...

What beautiful bright pictures. I had never heard of Yellow Fumewort. It was interesting learning about it. I am glad I stopped by today. I love gathering new information.

Anonymous said...

Michigan, eh? I'll have to get out and look for some here.

Nice to start seeing some signs of spring, isn't it?

Marvin said...

Mike: Yes. Bleeding-heart (several species none of which have I found here in the Ozarks) and Dutchman's Breeches (which will bloom here soon)and Corydalis are all members of family Fumariaceae.

Rambling Woods said...

That looks familiar to me, I will have to keep an eye out..Loved your possum story..I am surprised that my husband didn't come home to find me playing dead from the Michelle

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely flower, nice colour and interesting shape

eileeninmd said...

Spring has spring, lovely wildflowers. I am looking forward to seeing more flowers here. Have a great weekend.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What beautiful pictures!

TexWisGirl said...

Hi Marvin:

I wanted to let you know I gave your blog an award yesterday. Please stop by and pick it up. I LOVE your blog. :)

MyMaracas said...

I love the way you notice the native plants around you. Most people don't. And thanks for the research and information!