Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Small-flower Fumewort - Corydalis micrantha   (Engelmann ex A. Gray) A. Gray
Members of Fumariaceae:
Members of Corydalis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Papaverales » Family Fumariaceae
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Author(Engelmann ex A. Gray) A. Gray
DistributionOnly known from a few southern and central Mountain counties, plus one in the Brushy Mountains in the western Piedmont.

This is a Midwestern species, ranging from IL and SD, south to AR and TX, with outlier records for western NC and eastern TN.
AbundanceVery rare, with only two known current locations, one in the Brushies (Alexander County); there are two historical locations.
HabitatThis species, in NC, is limited to dry rock outcrops, cliffs, and rocky roadcuts, in high pH soil. The site in the Brushies is on a granitic dome, but with some mafic rocks embedded to produce a circumneutral soil.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, fruits in June, and withers soon after fruiting.
IdentificationThis species and C. halei are quite similar, and rather similar also to C. flavula. The plants are mostly erect, but only reach about 4-5 inches tall. The leaves are bi-pinnately dissected into small, finger-like segments. C. micrantha and C. flavula have the flowers barely exceeding the leaves, on terminal racemes; C. halei, however, has the flowers extending well beyond the leaves, owing to a long stalk. The flowers are bright golden-yellow, horizontally-facing, tubular, and about 1/2-inch long, with a fairly long spur -- essentially like that of C. halei. In these two species, the fruits are ascending or erect, whereas the fruits in C. flavula are drooping. C. halei has capsules mostly 2/3-inch (15-20 mm) long, whereas those in C. micrantha are about 1/2-inch (10-15 mm) long. C. halei has strongly glaucous leaves, being pale green, whereas the other two species are generally bright green in color. Lastly, the habitats differ -- C. micrantha is a species of montane and upper Piedmont rocky places, C. halei is a plant of sandy Coastal Plain roadsides, and C. flavula is found in rich bottomland and lower slope forests. It is surprising that this rare species has not been found on the many other granitic domes in the Brushies, most with pockets of high pH soil and numerous rare species.
Taxonomic CommentsMost references include C. halei within it, either without a designation or as a subspecies. We follow Weakley (2018) in splitting halei from micrantha.

Other Common Name(s)Slender Fumewort, Slender Corydalis
State RankS1
Global RankG5
State StatusT
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