Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’
Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’ is an herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Papaveraceae family. It is native to China, specifically the Sichuan Province. It was first brought back from China by Pere Armand David in 1865 and later rediscovered in 1989 growing in Western Sichuan Province.
Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’ forms a spreading mat of fern-like foliage, often with a bronze tint. The leaves are finely-divided, glaucous, and lacy green, growing up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) long. The plant reaches a height of 30-38 centimeters (12-15 inches), spreading by rhizomes to 45-50 centimeters (18-20 inches) wide or more. It produces dense terminal and axillary racemes (short spikes) of slender, long-spurred, tubular flowers. The flowers of ‘Porcelain Blue’ are incredibly intense aqua-blue and bloom from late spring to autumn. Each flower measures about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in length and has a whitish throat. In mild winter climates, the plant may flower again in October-November.
How to grow Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’:
To grow Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’, provide it with moist but well-drained soil in a partially shaded location. It can tolerate light shade and sun-dappled conditions. It is important to ensure that the soil remains evenly moist during the growing season, as dry conditions can be detrimental to the plant’s health. In winter, the soil should be kept uniformly drier to prevent waterlogging, which can be fatal for the plant. It prefers basic soils and can benefit from the addition of lime to acidic soils.
Maintenance for ‘Porcelain Blue’ involves lifting and dividing congested clumps in autumn. This helps rejuvenate the plant and promote healthy growth. Propagation can be done through division or seed immediately after flowering.
Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’ is generally not plagued by serious insect or disease problems. However, it can be susceptible to aphids, slugs, snails, rust, and downy mildew. Regular monitoring and appropriate pest control measures, if necessary, can help manage these issues.
‘Porcelain Blue’ is a versatile plant that can be used in various garden settings. It works well to fill gaps in partially shaded borders or as an underplanting beneath trees and shrubs. Its spreading habit makes it suitable as a ground cover in shady woodland areas or naturalized areas. The plant also thrives in wall pockets in cool summer climates. The intense blue flowers of ‘Porcelain Blue’ make a striking display, and planting three to five plants together can create a greater visual impact, especially in larger gardens.
In summary, Corydalis flexuosa ‘Porcelain Blue’ is a delightful perennial plant with fern-like foliage and intense aqua-blue flowers. With proper care and maintenance, it can thrive in partially shaded locations, adding beauty and charm to garden borders, woodland areas, or naturalized landscapes.