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corydalis flowerHollow Larkspur (Corydalis cava) Info
This perennial woodland herb blooms in spring.  It has some Saturn aspects, because it enjoys living in shady woods, but it also has a Pluto influence in its very slow growth, the fact that the most powerful part is the tuber, and that it can expand consciousness.  This herb has various medicinal uses, including as a painkiller, sedative, for lowering blood pressure, helps for falling asleep, and helps in vision questing.  It supposedly is 40% as effective as morphine for killing pain and is especially good for nerve pain.  It has also been used to help people during opiate withdrawal.  Don't use if you have a tender liver. corydalis rootThe hollow, brown tuber is harvested in the spring before the plant flowers and uses all its root energy.  This rabbit-proof plant especially likes to grow near beech and ash trees.  The seed is often planted by ants, who enjoy harvesting the oily coat. Top

corydalis in woodsHow to Grow: Keep warm and moist (you can put in compost) at 72 F/22C for at least 6 weeks.  Then keep 25-39F/0-5C for 6-8 weeks.  Germination will start at 39F/5C.  Raise temperatures gradually up to 50F/10C until germination is finished.  If the warm or cold period was not long enough, the seeds will stay dormant until the following year, when they will need another warm period (summer) and cold period (winter). Or keep at 72F/22C for 6 weeks, then sow on Winter Solstice (see the Solstice Sowing page).  The plant only makes one leaf the first year it is growing.  Watch out for damping off (from too much moisture and not enough ventilation) at this stage.  This plant likes rich, humus-filled soil and prefers to grow in moist shade.  It takes two years from planting to get a good root, and you might have to dig for it.  It can take several years to flower. Once it is established, however, it can expand into very large stands; the picture here shows another variety with white and lavender flowers, but this is how they spread out. General growing info  Top

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2004, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction of any part without permission.