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33 Different Types of Corydalis Flowers and its Medical Uses

Close up of the corydalis flower.

The corydalis flowers have as many as 440 species with shared traits of being on the small side, with fernlike foliage and abundant tuberous flowers. Its roots are believed to be a palliative and are widely used as herbal medicine. Native to China, the plant has been an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

Read on to know the different types of corydalis flowers and its numerous medicinal benefits.


Corydalis ambigua

Corydalis ambigua

A beautiful blue, tubular plant with drooping, elegant petals, it is one of the main ingredients of the pain-relieving drug tetrahydropalmatine. Because of these and other properties, the Corydalis ambigua is one of the many plants used in Chinese herbology.

Corydalis augustifolia

With white flowers that are tinged with light pink, this plant grows well in the woodlands and can come in other colors, including yellow petals with purple tips. It is native to Iran and Turkey.

Corydalis Aurea

Corydalis Aurea

Yellow in color, this plant is also called Scrambled Eggs, Golden Corydalis, and Golden Smoke. It is a winter annual that is native to North America and it has beautiful blue-green leaves and fruits that consist of cylinder capsules. Each stem can contain up to 30 of its flowers so its look is full and attractive.

Corydalis buschii

Corydalis buschii

In dark and light pink, it blooms in April and May and it is resistant to deer. It is an eye-catching color and is perfect for every garden, regardless of what else you are growing there.

Corydalis bracteata

Corydalis bracteata

With its light-yellow petals, it is a delicate and elegant plant that is perfect if you wish to highlight other plants, especially if those plants are dark in color. This contrasting look is certainly an eye-catcher and it makes your garden stand out among the others.

Corydalis cava

Corydalis cava

This flower is a beautiful shade of purple and contains the alkaloid bulbocapnine, which is used occasionally for medical purposes, although the research is only just beginning; therefore, there is only a small amount of information on its benefits.

Corydalis cheilanthifolia

Also called the Fern-Leafed Corydalis, it consists of small yellow petals and grows from rhizomes. It is a perennial and is native to central and western China. The fern-shaped leaves usually turn bronze and last throughout the winter. Its seeds are found in a long, thin pod and the plant blooms upright, making it truly eye-catching and commanding of attention.

Corydalis chionophile

This type of Corydalis grows in stony places in Iran and has petals that are white with purple tips. Its leaves are grey-green in color and not very divided as some other varieties are.

Corydalis darwasica

With leaves that are made of three silver lobes, they can also be white or pale pink in color. The Corydalis darwasica also consists of black-purple noses and beautiful foliage, making it a striking plant.

Corydalis decipiens

This plant has divided, grey-green leaves and beautiful purple petals. Also called Corydalis pumila, its two-lipped petals bloom in Spring.

Corydalis elegans

This variety is mostly found in China, India, and the West Himalayas.

Corydalis erdellii

This blooms a very short time after the snow melts and is whitish-pink in color.

Corydalis flavula

Corydalis flavula

Also called the Yellow Harlequin, Yellow Fumitory, or the Yellow Fumewort, it consists of yellow tubular petals and is found growing naturally on slopes and in open woods. It is an herbaceous plant that is native to the eastern part of the United States. The plant can be toxic in some instances and it has historically been used for medicinal purposes that include bleeding wounds, pain relief, and even hearing issues.

Corydalis flexuosa

Corydalis flexuosa

This perennial loves the shade and originated in the woody, mountainous areas of China. It blooms in the spring and produces masses of flowers that are bright blue and have a white throat. The foliage usually dies down during the summer months and it includes cultivars such as Blue Panda, Pere David, China Blue, and Purple Leaf.

Corydalis fumariifolia

These have petals that are indigo or light blue and inner petals that are white. They are native to Russia, China, and Korea.

Corydalis henrikii

The Corydalis henrikii has leaves that are finely divided and petals that are pale pink to white. The petals have dark or purple tips on the inside and the plant is native to Turkey.

Corydalis heterocarpa

Corydalis heterocarpa

These contain beautiful yellow, brown, and white flowers and delicate ferny leaves. The stems divide quickly; therefore, it is one of the fastest-growing and amazing-looking types of Corydalis plants.

Corydalis integra

This flower’s tubular petals are colored pale bluish-pink and white and contain a very small black-purple nose. When it’s cool outside, the plant can give your entire garden a bluish tinge that is quite striking.

Corydalis kusnetzovii

This plant blooms very tall and has petals that are cream, pale yellow, or white. It hybridizes with the Corydalis vittae.

Corydalis linstowiana

These plants’ petals are a beautiful shade of purplish-blue and have ferny leaves that are light green highlighted in silver. They are a biennial plant that self-seeds in abundance and they prefer partial shade and soil that is moist but well-drained.

Corydalis micrantha

Because of their beautiful yellow-gold color, these plants are also called Golden Corydalis, Small-Flower Fumewort, and Southern Corydalis. The leaves have a blade-like shape and can be up to two inches wide and three inches long. They grow best in the South and Southeastern parts of the United States.

Corydalis Nobilis

Corydalis Nobilis

The Corydalis Nobilis consists of dark- and light-yellow petals and a dark-colored nose. They are a perennial and are also called the Siberian Corydalis. The stems are upright and the leaves are wide and very eye-catching. In addition, the seeds are dispersed by ants, and their petals can also be yellow, orange, and even dark violet in color.

Corydalis ochotensis

These tall, biennial plants have petals colored yellow and tinted in a purplish-grey color. They have basal leaves that are sometimes zig-zag in shape if not branched or winged-ridged.

Corydalis Orthoceras

These perennial plants bloom from April to May and are colored in a bluish-purple tint. They also have beautiful multi-colored leaflets and originated in Japan.

Corydalis pallida

These flowers grow well in natural habitats such as forest clearings, glades, open slopes, and even burned areas. They are biennial, are pollinated by bees, and are usually bright yellow in color.

Corydalis pauciflora

This is a high-country species in various shades of lilac and purple. Also called the Few-Flower Fumewort or Few-Flowered Corydalis, they favor moist areas and they can even look light burgundy during some seasons and conditions.

Corydalis rutifolia

With flower petals in a combination of dark and light pink, these plants have wide, short leaves that are sturdier than a lot of other leaves in addition to the ability to grow in dry and even rocky conditions.

Corydalis scouleri

With bluish waxy leaves and very sturdy stems, these light- and dark-pink flowers are tall and elegant-looking. They grow up to 50 inches in height and are perennials, blooming mostly in late spring. They grow mostly along the banks of shaded streams, in the woodlands, and even in shaded, moist roadsides.

Corydalis solida

Corydalis solida

Also called the Fumewort, this plant has petals that can be either white, purple, mauve, or red. Its ferny leaves are deeply divided and its long-spurred flowers appear in spring. It also has four sub-species: C. solida subsp. Incisa Liden, C. solida subsp. longicarpa Liden, C. solida subsp. solida, and the C. solida subsp. subremota Popov ex Liden & Zetterlund.

Corydalis vittae

These plants have densely packed flowers that are greenish-white when opened and pure snow white when mature. One of its biggest advantages is the fact that it grows almost anywhere and even though it flowers later than many other varieties of Corydalis, the flowers can last a lot longer as well.

Corydalis wendelboi

With leaves that have large lobes and are grey-green in color, this plant’s petals are pale purple and dark purple on its inside tips. It is native to Turkey and grows on stony hillsides.

Corydalis wilsonii

With bright-yellow petals and a height of up to one foot, this is a very attractive plant indeed, although parts of it can be poisonous if you ingest it. The foliage is herbaceous and silver-grey in color and it has average watering needs, which means that it cannot take an over-watering.

Corydalis yanhusuo

Corydalis yanhusuo

The Chinese meaning of the word is “extended barbarian rope” and it has tubers that are sometimes mistaken for the roots. It is native to high-altitude locations and it is an important ingredient in many Chinese herbs and natural medicinal treatments. The flowers are purplish-blue and grow in clusters with openings that curve out. There is also a yellow, round variety.

The Many Medicinal Uses of Corydalis

Since Corydalis is a member of the poppy family, it can be used in a variety of ways for dozens of ailments and conditions, including the following.

  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Alleviates chest pain
  • Alleviates abdominal pain
  • Alleviates spasms
  • Helps you sleep
  • Improves your nerves and edginess
  • Stimulates the blood
  • Improves overall heart health
  • Great as a tonic or probiotic
  • Alleviates chest pain
  • Can improve angina symptoms
  • Reinforces the circulatory system
  • Relieves hernia symptoms
  • Relieves back or loin pain
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Treats cataracts
  • Helps regulate the heart
  • Offers some anti-cancer capabilities
  • Gets rid of ulcers
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Helps reduce tremors
  • Helps get rid of phlegm
  • Can help control or ease symptoms associated with chemotherapy
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Reduces spasms, seizures, and convulsions, include intestinal spasms
  • Reduces the symptoms of asthma
  • Improves the GI tract and liver
  • Reduces the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Can reduce the size of many types of tumors
  • According to some, can prevent breast cancer
  • Can help you overcome certain allergies
  • Can help with certain types of nerve damage
  • Helps ease migraines and other headaches

How to Use Corydalis

Corydalis can be used in several ways, including:

  • As a tea. If you decide to drink it, it is best to mix it with something else that will flavor it because when used alone, corydalis can be quite bitter. To make the tea, simply boil the dried herbs in four cups of water. Start out by taking 4.5 grams per day and work your way up to 12 grams. Boil the concoction for 30 minutes and after it’s made, simply sip on it throughout the day.
  • Dried capsules. Corydalis can be used in a capsule if you dry out the rhizomes and place five to ten milligrams in a capsule, which you can easily find on the Internet. Just one capsule per day can relieve many symptoms.
  • As an extract. When used as an extract, you can take 100 to 200 mg per day. The extract version of Corydalis is called di-tetrahydropalmatine, or DHP.
  • As a powder. If you purchase Corydalis as a powder, which can be done online, simply mix one to 1.5 grams of the powder in some water and drink it. In fact, many herb shops and health food stores will even give you a spoon that you can use to measure out the powder.

Corydalis can be missed with other herbs for better results, including:

  • Amber
  • China berry
  • Dong quai
  • White peony
  • Grass weed
  • Vervain
  • Licorice

Side Effects

Corydalis does interact with other medications and in some people, it can cause symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should never use Corydalis; even if you are healthy, it is highly recommended that you consult with a qualified physician before you start taking this herb. This is especially important if you are already taking certain prescription medications since many of these medicines interact negatively with Corydalis. A checkup with your doctor will let you know for sure if you are a good candidate for taking this herb.

In addition, you should always monitor the amount of Corydalis you take because taking too much can actually be detrimental to your health. If you purchase a product with Corydalis in it that is already made and ready to consume, you should be safe as long as you pay strict attention to the instructions listed on the product, provided that you have already been examined by a doctor.

Visit our main flower and plant page for more information about the other types of flowers.