East Himalayan Pink Corydalis
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East Himalayan Pink Corydalis
P Native Unknown Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: East Himalayan Pink Corydalis
Botanical name: Corydalis leptocarpa    Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)
Synonyms: Capnoides leptocarpa

East Himalayan Pink Corydalis is an annual or perennial herb, 10 - 30 cm tall, prostrate and creeping, stems several, branched, delicate, arising from a cluster of slender fibrous roots; branches dense, slender, striped, hairless; roots simple with a main root and lateral fibrous ones. Leaves arising from root are biternate, oblong-triangular, 5 - 8 x 3 - 5 cm; leaf-stalks 5 - 9 cm long, slightly sheathed at base; leaflets ternate, broad, blunt, often trilobed, glaucous beneath; at branch-ends and lateral segments ovate-elliptic, oblong-obovate, rounded toothedly toothed along margins or deeply lobed, finely narrowed at base, about 2 x 1 cm, hairless; nerves prominent; leaf-stalks short. Stem leaves are 2 or more, alternate. Pink, purple or white flowers are borne in racemes in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, 2-6 cm long, laxly 4-8-flowered; bracts obovate, narrowly ovate-lanceshaped, 6-12 mm long, lower ones toothed or lobed, upper ones narrow, entire. Flower-stalks are 5-8 mm long, deflexed in fruit. Flowers are 2.2 - 2.8 cm long. Sepals minute, round, slightly lacerate along margin. Outer pair crested; upper petal 25 - 30 mm long, winged on dorsal and ventral lobes; spur slightly sickle shaped, 13-15 x 3-3.5 mm; nectariferous gland 6 - 7 mm long. Capsules are linear, 2.5-3 cm long, 1.5-2 mm thick, torulose; style alternate, about 4 mm long; seeds 16-20, about 1.2 mm across, black, shiny. East Himalayan Pink Corydalis is found in damp streamsides or cliffs, in temperate and subtropical forests, at altittudes of 1900-2800 m, in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur, also in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and SE China. Flowering: March-August.

Identification credit: Magnus Lidén Photographed in Pelling, Sikkim.

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