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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Scouler’s Corydalis in Canada

Special Significance of the Species

Gardeners in both North America and Europe value highly several species of Corydalis for both flowers and foliage. Ownbey (1947), in his seminal monograph on the genus, especially recommended C. caseana ssp. brandegei and ssp. cusickii, noting that European gardeners had already discovered C. scouleri, C. aurea, and C. sempervirens.

In addition, the alkaloidal properties of a large number of members of both the fumitory and the closely related poppy family are of great interest to plant taxonomists, plant chemists, and agronomists. Each species has been found to contain a unique set of alkaloids, some of which are common to other species, but not in the same combinations. Agronomists consider these properties significant in that they probably render the plants toxic to livestock; a bitter taste likely makes them unpalatable in any event (Ownbey, 1947).