categoryZClimbers Climbers List 
categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 

CLIMBING CORYDALIS

Ceratocapnos claviculata

(Formerly: Corydalis claviculata) in the Fumaria Family (Fumariaceae)
Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]  

month8May month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

category
category8Climbers
category
category8Deciduous
status
statusZnative

flower
flower8cream
 
inner
inner8pink
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ2
 
type
typeZspurred
(short)
stem
stem8angular
 

23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
A low annual scrambler capable of climbing to 75cm but also has the ability to carpet the ground of woodlands over large areas, given a half chance and lower light levels to deter other competing plants.


16th April 2008, Maiden Castle, Sandstone Trail, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Dangling from the branch of a shrub. The leaves are pale-green and end in a branched tendril by which the plant is able to clamber.


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are asymmetrical: upper leaves and a tight cluster of small flowers are here hanging from a tree branch which they have managed to clamber up, which they do with ease. The larger terminal leaflet is on a long petiole coming off the stem at right-angles. Two short branches (one shorter than the other) coming off that are also at approximately right-angles, each supporting two leaflets, the rear-most being the smallest. (The lower leaves have the same asymmetry as the upper leaves).


29th Aug 2007, Greet Bridge, Forest of Bowland. Photo: © RWD
The upper leaves have points at the tips. Technically the leaves are 2-pinnate to ternate but that makes no mention of the extent of the asymmetry. Here the stem is square, but can be angular or round as well.


28th Sept 2008, Duddon Mosses, Foxfield, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Not all leaves have 5 leaflets; some have 4, some only three. Bottom left shows an aberrant leaflet in the shape of a goldfish with a fin-tail!


29th Sept 2006, Duddon Iron Furnace, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The ground-level leaves are asymmetrically disposed and quite oval compared to the more-pointed less wide upper leaves.


29th Aug 2007, Greet Bridge, Forest of Bowland. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in congested spikes at the tip of branches.


16th April 2008, Maiden Castle, Sandstone Trail, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers emerge at diverse angles without any apparent order. It looks like the white flowers turn reddish in too much sun.


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The back of the flower has a very short curved spur of about 1mm in length.


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The front of the flower has large frilly petals.


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The lower part of the flower seems to have two white wavy flaps (bottom flower). The two flowers above that are displaying the underneath of the flower.


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The spur is part of the upper part of the flower and curves downward around the back of the flower. It is but a millimetre long. The lower lip seems to contain at least one of the sexual organs. The spur goes to one side or other of the flower stalk (petiole), so even that is asymmetrical.


23rd June 2015, Moore Nature Reserve, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
View from below of the lower petal of the flower; some sexual organ deep within the slit-opening.


16th April 2008, Maiden Castle, Sandstone Trail, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
These might be the developing fruits after flowering.


16th April 2008, Maiden Castle, Sandstone Trail, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
The stems have slight ridges.


Some similarities to : Many other fumitories, but Climbing Corydalis is the only one to possess tendrils, which it uses to help cling on to higher surrounding plants. Also, the flowers are a creamy white with no coloured tips unlike any of the fumitory family of flowers.

Distinguishing Feature : the irregular arranged leaves, the colour of the flower plus the tendrils make this uniquely identifiable, if you look closely enough.

The Genus Ceratopapnos used to belong to the Fumariaceae (Fumitory) Family but has since been re-assigned to the Papaveraceae (Poppy) Family.

Climbing Corydalis likes to grow in damp mossy woods, or amidst bracken to support it. It also grows especially well out in the open air on the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire, on the path up to Maiden Castle hill fort. It is in open spaces like these that the stems are apt to turn reddish to protect themselves from the harshness of the sun, and this makes part of the supporting structure for the pale cream flowers reddish too. Thus they may start to look like other members of the Fumitory Family.

Climbing Corydalis was the only member of the Fumitory Family with tendrils [apart from White Ramping-Fumitory (Fumarea capriolata)] until taxonomists moved it into the Poppy Family (Papaveraceae) where it might still be the only member in that family to have tendrils too.


  Ceratocapnos claviculata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Papaveraceae  

Distribution
family8fumitory family8Fumariaceae family8Poppy family8Papaveraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Ceratocapnos
Ceratocapnos
(Climbing Corydalis)

CLIMBING CORYDALIS

Ceratocapnos claviculata

(Formerly: Corydalis claviculata) in the Fumaria Family (Fumariaceae)
Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]  

WildFlowerFinder Homepage