Category: Papaveraceae

  • Yellow Corydalis (Psuedofumaria lutea)


    Formerly Corydalis lutea. A relative of Bleeding-Hearts and Dutchman’s Breeches, native to Europe, but gaining a foothold in North America. It is not very common in Pittsburgh, perhaps completely unknown except for this patch, which was growing in the rocks beside a small stream in Frick Park, where it was blooming in late June. We suspect that this plant was deliberately introduced to Frick Park, but it is thriving there.


  • Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

    Stylophorum-diphyllum-2013-05-08-Fox-Chapel-02Stylophoruum-diphyllum-2013-05-08-Fox-Chapel-01Like a larger version of the Celandine, this bright yellow poppy blooms at the same time, but is easily distinguished by its larger flowers with overlapping petals and bright orange stamens. This plant was blooming in early May along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel.

    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    STYLOPHORUM Nutt. CELANDINE POPPY. Sepals 2, hairy. Petals 4. Style distinct, columnar; stigma 2-4-lobed. Pods bristly, 2-4-valved to the base. Seeds conspicuously crested. — Perennial low herbs, with stems naked below and oppositely 2-leaved, or sometimes 1-3-leaved, and umbellately 1-few-flowered at the summit; the flower-buds and the pods nodding. Leaves pinnately parted or divided. Juice yellow. (From stylos, style, and pherein, to bear, one of the distinctive characters.)

    S. diphyllum (Michx.) Nutt. Leaves pale beneath, smoothish, deeply pinnatifid into бог 7 oblong sinuate-lobed divisions, and the root-leaves often with a pair of small distinct leaflets; peduncles equaling the petioles; flower deep yellow (5 cm. broad); stigmas 3 or 4; pod ovoid. —Damp woods, w. Pa. to Wisc., ” Mo.,” and Tenn. May. —Foliage and flower resembling Celandine.

  • Celandine (Chelidonium majus)


    Not related to the Lesser Celandine, this greater Celandine is a member of the poppy family that likes to grow at the edge of the woods. These plants were growing by one of the tufa bridges in Schenley Park, where they were blooming in the middle of May.

    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    CHELIDONIUM [Tourn.] L. CELANDINE. Sepals 2. Petals 4. Stamens 16-24. Style almost none; stigma 2-lobed. Pod linear-cylindric, smooth, 2-valved, the valves opening from the bottom upward. Seeds crested. —Biennial herb with brittle stems, saffron-colored acrid juice, pinnately divided or 2-pinnatifid and toothed or cut leaves, and small yellow flowers in a pedunculate umbel; buds nodding. (Ancient Greek name, from chelidon, the swallow, because its flowers appear with the swallows.)

    С majus L.— Rich damp soil about towns, centr. Me. to Ont., and southw., common from s. Me. to Pa. May-Aug. (Nat. from Eu.)

  • Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)


    Sanguinaria-canadensis-2013-04-10-Fox-Chapel-02There is only one member of the genus Sanguinaria, and here it is. These cheery little flowers pop up at about the same time as the Coltsfoots; this patch was blooming in early April beside a back road in Fox Chapel. The flowers open before the leaves are fully unfurled, so each flower stem is elegantly wrapped in a shell-like green leaf. The English and Latin names both come from the fact that the root is full of red juice.

    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    SANGUINARIA [Dill.] L. BLOODROOT. Sepals 2. Petals 8-12, spatulate-oblong. Stamens about 24. Style short; stigma 2-grooved. Pod ellipsoid or fusiform, turgid, 1-celled, 2-valved. Seeds with a large crest. — Low perennial; its thick prostrate rootstocks (surcharged with red-orange acrid juice) sending up in earliest spring a palmate-lobed leaf and 1-flowered scape. Flower white, handsome, the bud erect, the petals not crumpled. (Name from the color of the juice.)

    S. canadensis L. — Open rich woods; common. Apr., May.

  • Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

    These charming relatives of the Bleeding-Heart like a damp wooded hillside, more often a gentle slope than a steep incline. The flowers really do  look like old-fashioned pairs of breeches hung upside-down to dry. “Pretty, but odd” is Gray’s description. These plants were growing in Bird Park in Mount Lebanon, where they were blooming in late March (in a year when spring came very early).

    Gray describes the genus and the species:

    DICÉNTRA Berah.Petals slightly cohering into a heart-shaped or 2-spurred corolla, either deciduous or withering-persistent. Stigma 2-crested and sometimes 2-horned. Filaments slightly united into two sets. Pod 10-20-seeded. Seeds crested. — Low stemless perennials (as to our wild species) with ternately compound and dissected leaves, and racemose nodding flowers. Pedicels 2-bracted. (Name from distwice, and kentron, a spur; —accidentally printed Diclytra in the first instance, which by an erroneous conjecture was changed afterwards into Dielytra.) Bikukulla Adans. Bicuculla Millsp.

    Raceme simple, few-flowered.

    D. Cucullària (L.) Bernh. (Dutchman’s Breeches.) Scape and slender-petioled leaves from a sort of granulate bulb; lobes of leaves linear; corolla with 2 divergent spurs longer than the pedicel; crest of the inner petals minute. (Bicuculla Millsp.) — Rich woods, N. S. to L. Huron and Minn., s. to N. C. and Mo. — A very delicate plant, sending up in early spring, from the cluster of grain-like tubers crowded together in the form of a scaly bulb, the finely cut leaves and the slender scape, bearing 4-10 pretty, but odd, white flowers tipped with cream-color.