Case's Fitweed

Genus Corydalis
Bleeding-Heart Family(Fumariaceae)

Fitweed foliage and flowers

Case's Fitweed
(Corydalis caseana)

These beautiful plants grow along canyon streamsides, where the soil is very moist. They are about 4 feet tall, with lush blue-green foliage.

The plants were very abundant in the vicinity where these photos were taken, but must not be very common in the general area. I have never seen them in other localities (even in similar habitats in nearby canyons), and many wildflower books do not even mention the species.

Case's Fitweed blossoms

The flowers grow in spikes at the tops of the branches. Each blossom is over an inch long, mostly white, but with a purple center.

The name "Fitweed" is derived from the effect the plant has on sheep when they eat it. It contains toxic alkaloids which affect the nervous system.