Forage Corydalis
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Forage Corydalis
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Forage Corydalis
Botanical name: Corydalis moorcroftiana    Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)
Synonyms: Capnoides moorcroftiana, Corydalis onobrychoides

Forage Corydalis is a perennial, glaucous herb, 15-30 cm tall. Rootstock is long, 1-2 cm in diameter at tip, often branched, crowned with residual petiolar bases. Stems are 2-4, from radical leaf axils, ridged, simple or sparingly branched, 2-4-leaved. Radical leaves are about 2/3 as long as stems. Leaf-stalks are about as long as blade, long vaginate. Blade is oblong, sub-bipinnate with 3 or 4 pairs of pinnae. Pinnae are stalked to stalkless, subpinnate to ternate with leaflets deeply cut into obovate to oblanceolate, acuminate, not or only slightly overlapping lobes, 4-18 × 2-5 mm. Flower racemes are 3-7 cm, 10-30-flowered, very dense at first, considerably elongating in fruit. Bracts are longer than flower-stalks, lower ones often pinnatilobate, middle and upper ones entire, elliptic to lanceolate, 1-2 cm, acute to acuminate. Sepals are whitish, small, fimbriate-dentate. Flowers are bright yellow, at first suberect, soon slightly nodding. Outer petals: crest high, much extended beyond apex; upper petal 19-22 mm, acute; spur broad, slightly tapering to obtuse tip, 8-10 mm; nectary extended through ca. 1/2 of spur; lower petal base shallowly saccate; inner petals 9-10 mm. Stigma square, with confluent apical papillae, geminate papillae lateral and on pronounced basal lobes. Capsule narrowly obovoid, 10 × 3 mm. Seeds in 2 rows, reniform, smooth. Forage Corydalis is found in the Himalayas, from SW Xizang to Ladakh and Kashmir, at altitudes of 4000-5400 m. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed near Pangong Lake, Ladakh.

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