Everybody knows bleeding hearts (Dicentra) but their cousins, Corydalis, are rarely found in Colorado Gardens. Denver Botanic Gardens is helping change all that. The largely drought tolerant genus Corydalis contains hundreds of species (compared with just a dozen or so of the moisture loving Dicentra) and many of these are in peak form at the Gardens right now. The first picture shows 'George Baker', probably the most eye blasting of these spring ephemerals. This picture is taken in my garden, but the combination of draba and corydalis is brilliantly displayed behind the Cactus and Succulent House in the Rock Alpine Garden right now. Go down there quickly! If you poke around the rest of the garden you will find a dozen or more other kinds of this amazing genus lurking here and there. Corydalis angustifolia is another of my favorites, this one coming from Central Asia, forming a large patch in front of the old Alpine House (now the Cactus and Succulent House).
You may not find Corydalis at the Rock Garden sale this Saturday (April 24) in Mitchell Hall (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) but you will find no end of other treasures: be there or be square!