Corydalis cava - (L.)Schweigg.&Körte.
Common Name
Family Papaveraceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, there is a report that Corydalis species are potentially toxic in moderate doses[222].
Habitats Shady forests, rarely amongst shrubs[74].
Range E. Europe. A rare garden escape in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade

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Corydalis cava
Corydalis cava
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Corydalis cava is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf 6-Mar It is in flower from Feb to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

C. bulbosa. (L.)DC.

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Analgesic;  Antianxiety;  Antidepressant;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Cardiotonic;  
Hallucinogenic;  Hypotensive;  Sedative.

The tuber is antispasmodic, hallucinogenic and also slows the pulse[9]. It is harvested in the spring before the plant comes into flower and dried for later use[9]. The plant should only be used under the guidance of a trained herbalist, it is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders[9]. One report says that the plant is cultivated for its medicinal uses in Sweden, but gives no more details[175]. The following reports are for C. yanhusuo which, according to one authority, is the correct name for this species[218]. It is treated as a separate species here[K]. The tuber is analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic and sedative[176]. The root has traditionally been used to lower pain and strengthen the circulation[218]. It also has sedative properties and is used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments[218]. Various extracts from the plant have shown antitussive, cardiotonic, hypotensive and anticancer activity[218].


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Prefers a moist, well-drained rather light soil, thriving in semi-shade[1]. Grows well in a woodland garden or peat bed. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value[200]. There is some possible confusion over the name of this species. 'Flora Europaea' says that it is a synonym of C. bulbosa[50] but the RHS 'Dictionary of Gardening' gives C. bulbosa as a synonym of this species[200]. In another report this species is said to be no more than a synonym for C. yanhusuo[218]. Closely related to C. solida[200], differing mainly in its solid tubers, rather than hollow as in C. solida[238]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, the seed rapidly loses viability if it is allowed to become dry[129]. Surface sow and keep moist, it usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[164]. Germinates in spring according to another report[129]. Two months warm, then a cold stratification improves the germination of stored seed[134, 164]. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be allowed to grow undisturbed in the pot for their first year. Apply liquid feed at intervals during their growing season to ensure they are well fed. The seedlings only produce one leaf in their first year of growth[175] and are very prone to damping off[129]. Divide the seedlings into individual pots once they have become dormant and grow them on in a partially shaded area of a greenhouse for at least another year. Plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant. Division after flowering.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Readers comment
Paula Repo   Sat Aug 16 2008
You can find good photos on 1200 plants including corydalis cava ( on the Topwalks website (

Topwalks - Plants of Spain

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Subject : Corydalis cava  

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