Plants winter annual or perhaps biennial, glaucous, from somewhat succulent roots. Stems 1-several, erect to ascending, 1-4 dm. Leaves compound; blade with 2-3 orders of leaflets and lobes; ultimate lobes oblong, elliptic, or obovate, margins sometimes incised, apex obtuse or rounded. Inflorescences racemose, 6-18-flowered, primary racemes usually exceeding leaves, more numerous than secondary, fewer-flowered racemes; bracts ovate, to 15 × 6 mm, proximal bracts sometimes leaflike, distal usually slightly to greatly reduced. Flowers spreading, often strongly curved; pedicel stout, 1-3 mm; sepals ovate to attenuate-ovate, ca. 1 mm, margins often sinuate or dentate; petals bright yellow; spurred petal 15-18 mm, spur not appreciably incurved, 7-9 mm, apex blunt, somewhat globose, crest well developed to absent, wrinkled or dentate, marginal wing well developed, unspurred outer petal bent, 12-15 mm, crest similar to that of spurred petal; inner petals oblanceolate, 9-12 mm, claw slender, nearly 1/2 petal length; nectariferous spur clavate, 4-6 mm, bent near apex; style ca. 5mm; stigma rectangular, 2-lobed, 1/2 as long as wide, with 8 papillae. Capsules erect, linear, slender, straight to strongly incurved, 20-35 mm. Seeds ca. 2 mm diam., appearing distinctly roughened or faintly reticulate under magnification, marginal ring present or essentially absent.
Holiday and Perez 2001
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Erect or prostrate forb, stems simple or branching from taproots from 2-35 cm tall. Leaves: Compound leaves, glacous blade with 3 orders of leaflets and lobes, ultimate lobes elliptic, 1.5 times or more longer than wide, margins incised. Flowers: Inflorescence not exceeding leaves; flowers 13-16 mm long, spurs 4-5 mm long, erect in bud, then spreading; pedicels 1-5 mm long, sepals 1-3 mm long, petals 14-18 mm long, yellow. Fruits: Capsule 12-20 mm long, usually cuved, erect; seeds with marginal rings. Ecology: Found on loose, often dry soil from 2,500-4,000 ft (762-1219 m); flowers April-June. Notes: Told apart by erect fruit with margin ring and inflorescence exceeding leaves. Ethnobotany: Used as a rheumatic remedy, for stomach and as a lotion for backache. Etymology: Corydalis is from Latin, corydalus for crested or tufted lark, while curvisiliqua is from curvi for curved, and siliqua, for the narrow many seeded capsule from the mustards. Synonyms: Capnoides montanum, Corydalis aurea subsp. occidentalis, Corydalis aurea var. occidentalis, Corydalis montana Editor: SBuckley, 2010