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Climbing Corydalis: the climbing fumitory

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Climbing Corydalis: the climbing fumitory

Climbing corydalis (Ceratocapnos claviculata) is an occasional woodland plant found in partial shade along rides and open glades in broad leaf woods, especially on acid soils. It is not a common plant anywhere and, in Dorset, seems to occur mainly in the Poole Basin where the soil is most suited to it but in this area broad leaf woodland is not common so that restricts the scope of this plant somewhat too. 

It is quite a delicate climber that weaves its way over other plants and, although it can be quite a large in size, it never grows very high. Climbing corydalis is a member of the fumitory family and has clusters of small, creamy-white tubular flowers that are typical of this group and when the flowers are over they produce seed pods, much like a pea. The leaves are pale green and are divided into several leaflets on a central stem and at the end of each is a tendril which it uses to do its climbing.

I have no idea where the name comes from; the 'climbing' part is obvious but corydalis is not a word found in the English dictionary! Often this would mean the name is derived from the Latin name but there does not seem to be a connection between Ceratocapnos claviculata and corydalis that I can see.


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 7 months ago

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