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Capnoides sempervirens

Previously known as:

  • Capnoides sempervirens
  • Corydalis sempervirens
Phonetic Spelling
kap-NOY-des sem-per-VY-renz
Description

A western North Carolina native perennial, Rock-harlequin will only produce basal rosette foliage in its first year.  It may overwinter as a rosette and flower in the spring.  Starting in its second season it will send up many branched stems that will flower. Flowering can take place from spring to fall, depending on your location.  It blooms earliest in the Appalachians and latest in the western states.

The ability to form the basal rosette allows gardeners to sow their seeds in the late summer, giving them time to germinate and form the basal rosette that will overwinter in the garden and bloom the second year.  The seeds that are left to nature are often spread by ants, which may deem the plant as invasive.  

Plants can vary in size.  They range from short and unbranched to up to 3' tall with many branches.  When fresh plants are observed in the later part of the summer, it very likely that seeds from plants that appeared earlier in the growing season have germinated and matured.

Its natural habitat includes cold winters and cool summers.  It can be found in clearings that have been recently disturbed by man or by wildfires, including dry woods, and rocky ledges, cliffs and other locations that have poor, dry, and gravelly soil.  Harvested forests, right-of-ways and roadsides are also sites where it can flourish.  It is typically found in the New England states, the Great Lakes area and south along the Blue Ridge Mountains into the northwestern portion of Georgia.  It is abundant in Canada, and it can also be found in Alaska.

Although susceptible to wildfires destroying the plant, the seeds will survive.  It can take years for them to germinate.  

This delicate pink flower is a delightful whimsical wildflower that is one to be looking out for along meadows and roadsides. It is a plant that you will want to get your drawing book out and draw its delicate details or capture them in a photo. Whichever you decide, this plant is one to be on the lookout for.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Can be mildly invasive.  Rabbits may browse the foliage.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#biennial#wildlife plant#pink flowers#native perennials#erosion control#disease resistant#NC native#whimsical#naturalizes#wildflower garden#naturalized area#poor soils tolerant#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#meadows#woodland garden#wet soils intolerant#native#butterflies#insect resistant#butterfly garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#biennial#wildlife plant#pink flowers#native perennials#erosion control#disease resistant#NC native#whimsical#naturalizes#wildflower garden#naturalized area#poor soils tolerant#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#meadows#woodland garden#wet soils intolerant#native#butterflies#insect resistant#butterfly garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Capnoides
    Species:
    sempervirens
    Family:
    Papaveraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wildflower
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Alaska to North Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AK, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Skipper butterflies and bumblebees feed on the flowers' nectar.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    After flowering, long, erect, narrow seed pods are produced. The dry fruit will split open when ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Forms delicate, bi-colored clusters of 0.5-in. drooping, sac-like, single spurred, pale pink tubular flowers with yellow tips. The petals are fused into a tubular shape.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1-4 in. finely divided, pale bluish-green leaves. The lower leaves are stalked with the upper leaves are typically stalkless. There is one leaf per node along the stem. Groups of 3 to 5 leaves with leaflets cleft into 2 or 3 parts that are again divided into thin segments.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Slender branching stems will appear near the top of the plant.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Insect Pests