Corydalis aurea – Scrambled Eggs

Corydalis aurea - Scrambled Eggs, Golden Smoke

Corydalis aurea - Scrambled Eggs, Golden Smoke

Corydalis aurea - Scrambled Eggs, Golden Smoke

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Corydalis aurea

Synonyms: Capnoides aureum, Corydalis washingtoniana

Common Names: Scrambled Eggs, Golden Smoke

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual, Biennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland, Mountain. It grows in sandy areas like desert and canyon washes.

Flower Color: Yellow

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: To 1 foot (30 cm) tall

Description: The oddly-shaped flowers have an inflated spur extending behind them and are 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) long. The flowers are followed by long, slender, curved seed capsules. The leaves are blue-green in color and finely dissected like those of a California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana).

Curvepod Fumewort (Corydalis curvisiliqua) is similar in appearance, but it has more strongly curved flowers.

Special Characteristics

Poisonous – The plants are poisonous and contain the toxic isoquinoline alkaloid corydaline.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Papaverales
Family: Fumariaceae – Fumitory family
Genus: Corydalis DC. – fumewort
Species: Corydalis aurea Willd. – scrambled eggs

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map