COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Scouler’s Corydalis in Canada
- Assessment Summary
- Executive Summary
- COSEWIC History, Mandate, Membership and Definitions
- Lists of Figures and Tables
- Species Information
- Population Sizes and Trends
- Limiting Factors and Threats
- Special Significance of the Species
- Existing Protection or Other Status Designations
- Technical Summary
- Acknowledgements and Authorities Consulted
- Information Sources, Biographical Summary of Report Writers, and Collections Examined
COSEWIC Status Report
Scouler’s corydalis is a tall perennial herb with thick rhizomes (Douglas et al. 1999a, Douglas and Jamison 2000). Stems are hollow, simple or somewhat branched above and 40–120 cm tall. The blue-green, glaucous (white or blue waxy surface) leaves are usually three in number, from near or above the middle of the stem. The lower one is often 20–30 cm long (Figure 1). The terminal inflorescence, appearing in May and June, is usually a compound raceme (an elongated inflorescence with youngest flowers at the tip) of 15–20, spurred, rosy-pink flowers. For each plant, the large dissected leaves form a delicate blue-green canopy, which intermingles in dense stands with other canopies to form a raised carpet of lush foliage about 1 m above the forest floor (Figure 2). There is no comprehensive monograph for this genus, although about 110 species of Corydalis are known to exist, native to the North Temperate zone and South Africa (Liden 1986).
From Douglas et al. 1999a, with permission.
Douglas Ecological Consultants 2003
Flowers of Scouler’s corydalis are bilaterally symmetrical, with two laterally placed outer petals, one of which is spurred or hooded, and two inner, dorsiventrally placed petals opposite the rudimentary and quickly deciduous sepals. The tips of the inner petals join to form a second hood that shelters the single, two-lobed stigma and the six stamens fused in two groups alternating with the petals. The obovoid, bicarpellate capsule separates elastically when jarred only slightly, to scatter the shiny, black seeds one to two metres away. As with most other species of corydalis, Scouler’s corydalis has elaiosomes on its seeds. These are fatty bodies that encourage dispersal by ants.
There has been no known genetic research on Canadian Scouler’s corydalis populations.
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