Yellow Fumitory for Lengthy Blooms!

One of my favorite, longest blooming perennials is the yellow fumitory (Corydalis lutea) seen in all of these photos.  We’ve had healthy patches of these throughout the gardens for many years where they have reseeded here and there and in general, been an excellent, colorful filler.  Native to Europe (z 5-7), this perennial is a non-stop bloomer from as early as late April all the way to hard frost.  That can be close to six months of continuous bloom in the Midwest which is hard to match by any other plant (particularly a perennial).  Preferring part sun (tolerating shade), yellow fumitory likes average, well-drained soils and has a tendency to re-seed if happy.  Full sun can be challenging as they will dry out quickly without regular and consistent moisture.  As seen in some of the photos below, we’ve let it “colonize” some open space between other perennials and it’s never been overbearing or hard to remove as needed.  The mounds of blue/green, “ferny” foliage (reminiscent of columbine or bleeding heart) reach 12-15″ and the spurred yellow flowers just keep coming.  They are exquisite in detail (check out the photos).  While this plant despises high humidity and excessive summer temperatures, locating it in part shade and providing adequate moisture will keep it happy.  We only had to plant it once if you catch my “drift”.

We had a small but efficient crew today.  Larry H. continues to work on Holiday Light Show (HLS) takedown and processing while Larry O. helped with multiple projects both inside and outside.  We checked the gardens over after all the recent rain and “it could always be worse”…..although not too bad out there.  Dennis and Garrett continued clearing brush and woody debris from the North path and Bill O. helped Larry O. with some inside work including preparing for more painting and checking over vehicles.  Gena, Patty, Nancy and Myrt were all in for some painting duties.  We also saw Kathy P. and some others today.  Mary Kay worked on updating the reference library. I continue to order plants and seeds and am getting ready for looming events like our Spring Plant Sale.

Corydalis lutea at Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) above and directly below