Corydalis leucanthema

‘Silver Spectre’


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Corydalis leucanthema ‘Silver Spectre’ 

Sprays of ivory blooms, each wearing purple lipstick, are delightful treats just when you need a boost from gloom.

Ivory blooms wearing purple lipstick

Because Corydalis leucanthema ‘Silver Spectre’ begins blooming in late winter, and continues through spring with those fetching blooms..

Foliage of silver lace

However ‘Silver Spectre’ is so much more than a bunch of pretty flowers.. 
Equally as lovely are the fern like, olive leaves, washed with silver lace patterns.
And no surprise that the lovely, ghostly silver foliage has inspired the name ‘Silver Spectre’.

Sweet fragrance

Blooms are sweetly fragrant, and the scent wafts on the winter and spring air.

Ideal under trees and shrubs

Plant ‘Silver Spectre’ in Shade.
It prefers Deep Shade, but can tolerate some dappled morning sun if it it not too dry. 
So ‘Silver Spectre’ does particularly well in sub-tropical climates where summers are humid. Such as in Sydney and Brisbane. Or in a Fernery, or under trees and shrubs in temperate southern climates.
Fortunately it is also extremely frost hardy, withstanding hard frosts to well below -10C. 

Growing: Corydalis leucanthema ‘Silver Spectre’

Height with flowers: 30cm.
Width: Spreads to a clump of approx. 75cm. diameter.
Position: Deep to 1/2 Shade, including Dappled Shade and Woodland conditions. Ideal for planting under trees and shrubs. 
Soil: ‘Silver Spectre’ is not particularly fussy about soil, though as a woodland plant it does enjoy humus, leaf litter or mulch. It tolerates clay soils well, but would struggle in very sandy soils. 
Frost: Very frost hardy, and able to withstand severe frosts to well below -10C. 
Growth: Clumping perennial. It does spread but is not invasive. Don’t t be alarmed if it goes dormant in summer. This is the plant’s natural defence against excessive dry heat. This Corydalis is particularly well suited to sub-tropical climates where summers are humid. Or in a fernery in temperate southern climates. 

Other benefits

Fragrance: Flowers are sweetly fragrant.
Attracts: Bees love scrambling in and out of the tubular flowers collecting food. The early flowering season makes ‘Silver Spectre’ of special benefit to pollinating insects.
Care: Easy low care, with no special maintenance required, as long as you provide it with the shade it loves.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Seems 
Origin: Collected from the wild by that wonderful plantsman and botanical adventurer Dan Hinckley. Dan found this wonderful Corydalis while plant hunting in Sichuan province China in 1996. 


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