Common but rarely abundant, this wildflower is found throughout the state of Texas. It's a winter annual or biennial, so look for it in the very early spring. The lacy-leaved, sprawling plant grows 4 to 14 inches tall, and has numerous, showy yellow flowers, 1/2 to 1 inch long, atop its branching stems. The upper petal has a curved spur. Corydalis can be found most often along the roadside or in disturbed soils. It prefers sandy or gravelly soils. It's interesting to note that Corydalis has been used in treating arthritis.
The Natives are Friendly
This month, I would like to encourage everyone to throw out some Scrambled Eggs into their native landscapes. If you are a native of Texas you more than likely know what I am talking about. Scrambled Eggs, Corydalis curvisiliqua, is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring and the bright yellow flowers are a welcome sight after the dreary days of February. Corydalis is derived from the Greek word for crested lark because of the arched spur on the flower. With last year's adequate amount of rainfall we were blessed with beautiful landscapes of Scrambled Eggs in early March. In contrast to the bright yellow blooms, the leaf structure has an almost fernlike appearance. Scrambled Eggs prefer a prairie like habitat and grow in open pastures and roadsides from Mexico north to Kansas. It grows in the sun or shade and in some cases it has been reported that this delicate dish has a tendency to be invasive. I have never thought this to be a problem since as soon as the temperatures begin to rise Scrambled Eggs will set its seed for next year's show and begin to die back. This early batch of seeds, are some of the first seeds of the season ready for our seed eating feathered friends. As with most native plants, the Native Americans had a medicinal use for Corydalis. Corydalis contains alkaloids, these toxic chemicals can be carefully managed to treat pain & inflammation. The Ojibwas often would breathe the smoke from roasted Corydalis roots to calm emotional upsets. Some other applications included a Corydalis tea that was used for women who had just gone through child birth and another was a treatment for nervous trembling. This fall add some Scrambled Eggs to your property and in the spring amongst all the early yellow color you can honestly say that by throwing out some Scrambled Eggs in the fall you can have beautiful yellow spring blooms. It really is almost like magic.