Fewflower fumewort – Corydalis pauciflora

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Alaska Wildflowers | Purple

Fewflower fumewort

Corydalis pauciflora

Common Names

fewflower fumewort
few-flowered corydalis


Corydalis pauciflora var. albiflora
Corydalis pauciflora var. chamissonis
Fumaria pauciflora

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Genus: Corydalis
Family: Papaveraceae (poppies)
Order: Ranunculales

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Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – Forb/herb

Identification and Information

The fewflower fumewort (Corydalis pauciflora) is a perennial plant with blue to purple flowers growing from small, brown, tuberous taproots with fibrous rootlets. It may have 1-3 erect, tubular stems per plant, standing 13-23 cm (5-9 inches) tall. The leaves (2-5) are simple, divided into 3-5 elliptic parts, each part is also cleft (not as deeply divided). Leaves are often purple at the margins and may be purplish-green underneath. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme with 3-5 crowded flowers. Flowers are tubular and attached to the stem by a stout pedicel. The petals are blue or violet. The spurred outer petal is 17-20 mm long and the bottom unspurred outer petal is smaller, 10-12 mm long.

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For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No uses found. May contain bulbocapnine (found in genus Corydalis), known to be toxic to sheep and cattle.

Distribution and Habitat

Fewflower fumewort (Corydalis pauciflora) is found in Asia (mostly eastern Russia and Mongolia), Alaska, and northwestern Canada. It’s worth noting that while China is shown on the map, I only found one instance of occurrence (according to GBIF).

C. pauciflora is found in wet meadows, near snow banks, and in moist spruce forests. It grows readily in wet alpine tundra, flowering in early-mid summer.


RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae  (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae  (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta  (land plants)
            DivisionTracheophyta  (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina  (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                           FamilyPapaveraceae  (poppies)
                              GenusCorydalis DC. (fumewort)
                                 SpeciesCorydalis pauciflora (Stephan) Pers. (fewflower fumewort)

References and Further Reading

Classification and Taxonomy

Corydalis pauciflora (Stephan) Pers., Taxonomic Serial No.: 19008, ITIS Database

Corydalis pauciflora (Stephan) Pers., fewflower fumewort, USDA Database


Bulbocapnine, Wikipedia

Map and Distribution

Corydalis pauciflora Few-flower Corydalis, NatureServe Explorer

Corydalis pauciflora (Willd.) Pers., GBIF

Description and Information

Corydalis pauciflora, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (wildflower.org)

4. Corydalis pauciflora (Stephan ex Willdenow) Persoon, Syn. Pl. 2: 269. 1807., Flora of North America

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