Corydalis ophiocarpa



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Corydalis ophiocarpa

Ivory Lark is a vigorous, architectural plant for Shade and Deep Shade.
Because it has a dense filigree of fine fern like, blue-grey-green-bronze foliage, which is really pretty in its own right.
So Corydalis ophiocarpa Ivory Lark is often more appreciated for its wonderful foliage colours, than for its quieter flowers. 

Long blooming with wine noses on cream

Creamy-lemon flowers, with wine noses bloom from mid spring to mid summer.
Plus some autumn repeats too.
So they decorate the ferny, lacy foliage clump for a very long time, looking quietly lovely against the unusual foliage colours.  
Though Ivory Lark may be small, it contributes far above its weight with unusual, colours and beauty.
(See ‘Growing’ section blow for full details and instructions)

Perfect choice for under trees and shrubs;
Corydalis ophiocarpa IVORY LARK

Ivory Lark thrives in Full Shade to Part Shade, as befits a woodland plant.
Corydalis like soils with humus and good drainage. 
They are also perfectly serene in Morning Sun, unless you are in a very hot district.
Sadly Corydalis are not recommended for districts with high summer air humidity.
Ivory Lark will gently self seed where happy, but it is not invasive.
And it is easily pulled out if it puts itself where you don’t want it. 

Perhaps the toughest of all the lovely Corydalis

Corydalis ophiocarpa is not a thirsty plant. So it is a robust grower with just average, normal garden watering.
Handily it can also withstand some periods of dry, as long as it gets a good water when really needed.
There is little or no ongoing maintenance or work after it is established, and is not prone to attacks by any particular pests or diseases. 

Robustly frost hardy

In fact frosts will just bring out the foliage colours even more strongly.

Lovely cut for the vase

Unexpectedly, the ferny fronds are very long lasting in a vase.  

Growing: Corydalis ophiocarpa IVORY LARK

– Height with flowers: 45cm. approx.
– Width: 45cm. approx.
– Position: Thrives in Shade, from 1/2 Shade to Full Shade, or Dappled Shade & Sun. Will also tolerate Morning Sun in cooler districts.
– Soil: Enjoys soils with humus, and prefers well drained. Enjoys a pH ranging around neutral but ranging into both the acid and alkaline lime side of neutral.
– Frost: Very frost hardy, even in severe frost to below -10C.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial clump.

– Fragrance: Sadly none, but I am prepared to forgive for the joy of the foliage.

Other benefits

– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and butterflies enjoy wriggling into the tubular flowers.
– Care: Easy to grow. Low maintenance.
– Origin: Native to the Himalayas. The name Corydalis is derived from the Greek word for “crested lark”  and refers to the shape of the flower spurs. The second name of ophiocarpa means “snake pod” and this points to the dangling, seed pods shaped like miniature serpents.

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