samedi 16 avril 2016

Pretty but risky

A strange small plant is flowering along the creek side these last weeks.

Corydalis solida, or fumewort, is native to moist, shady habitats along rivers. It is an ephemeral, with foliage that appears in spring and dies down to its tuberous rootstock in summer. It has narrow, long-spurred flowers that show color variation, and may be mauve, purple, red, or white.
Like some other plants already described on this blog, the seeds are disseminated thanks to ants.
This plant, in particular the root, is toxic: it contains alkaloids (notably corydalin), high dose of which are dangerous for the spinal cord. The plant is used in phytotherapy against Parkinson disease.

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