Yellow Fumitory

Picture 1001One plant in our gardens that seems to have the greatest desire to extend the season and continue blooming is Corydalis lutea, yellow fumitory. This plant has bloomed profusely all summer and into the fall. Only a real cold snap seems to stop it. After the early snowfall of 18″, it got flattened. But since most of the snow has melted off from it, I can see that it is still trying to bloom, having been insulated from the snow. Native to Europe and the Alps of Italy and Switzerland, it prefers a rich, moist, but well drained soil in part shade to shade. Heat, high humidity, and wet winter soil can cause it to falter. It can self sow where it is happiest, but has not been a problem for us. I have seen it grown in drifts, if room allows, and that can be very attractive and easy to maintain as it can grow thick enough to smother shorter weeds. It grows to 12-18″ tall and is usefull in front of the garden or mixes well with plants that are taller and have a bolder texture than its finely cut leaves. This next surge of polar air may put it down for the winter, but it sure has been interesting to see just how much spunk this plant has.