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Corydalis vivipara

Corydalis vivipara
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Family:  Papaveraceae
Main Season:  Spring
Flower Colour:  Purple
Leaf Colour:  Green
Foliage:  Evergreen
Position:  Shade
Soil Type:  Good, moist, humus-rich
Height:  15cm to 30cm (6" to 12")
Peat Free?  Yes
Hardiness Guide:  RHS H5 minimum -10C to -15C
Pot Size:  9cm

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A very rare hardy woodland species producing new olive green leaves in autumn. Spires of white and pale purple flowers in late winter and spring to 30cm. Summer dormant if dry.

The foliage is an unusual light olive green and often has fine silvery markings alongside the main veins.  In a good soil that doesn't dry out Corydalis vivipara will retain it's leaves all year round.  Although it is wintergreen it never seems to take any damage from frost, snow or cold winds so it's probably a bit tougher than the commonly seen blue flowered Corydalis flexuosa types.

The flowers are unusual and very pretty with a near white body and spur darkening to purple near the lips.

Found in wood and scrubland in Sichuan, China between 1400 and 2900m.