Species Profile

Scouler's Corydalis

Scientific Name: Corydalis scouleri
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2006
Last COSEWIC Designation: Not at Risk
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Habitat | Biology | Recovery Initiatives | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Scouler's Corydalis

Scouler's Corydalis Photo 1



Scouler's Corydalis is an herbaceous, rhizomatous perennial. It has 60-120 cm tall, hollow stems with large, blue-green, glaucous (with a waxy coating), dissected leaves and a terminal inflorescence (flower head) of rosy-pink, bilaterally symmetrical flowers.


Distribution and Population

The species occurs west of the Cascades Mountains, from northwestern Oregon northward to western Vancouver Island. The entire Canadian population occurs in British Columbia and is limited to the Nitinat and Klanawa river basins as well as to an area west of Cowichan Lake, on western Vancouver Island. It occurs at 20 known sites varying from 16 plants over a 60m2 area, to an estimated 100,000 plants covering possibly 6 hectares.



Scouler's Corydalis occurs in cool, wet habitats associated with watercourses ranging from large rivers to small streams. The British Columbia sites are at an elevation of 5 to 200 m. The species grows in fine sediments including silts common to floodplains. The climate is cool mesothermal with high annual precipitation.



The species can reproduce either sexually by seeds or vegetatively by extensive rhizomatous growth that produces additional stems annually. In the Nitinat River watershed it flowers during May and June after plants are four or more years old. Plants produce racemes (flower spikes) of 15-20 flowers. Each flower develops into a two-chambered seed pod containing many seeds.


Extensive logging operations threaten the species, not only by the actual harvest of trees, but by construction of associated roads and bridges, and the ensuing public access to the riverbanks. Erosional damage from flooding is also a limiting factor.



Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Scouler's Corydalis (Corydalis scouleri)
Status Recovery team/planner in place


Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date An updated status report has been prepared which considers the expansion of the known populations (now 24) from additional surveys conducted in 1997 to 2004 and could lead to the species being down-listed. The updated status report is expected to be sent to COSEWIC for May 2007 re-assessment. Wildlife Habitat Areas on Crown land are currently being proposed and are pending approval to protect the species.


PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

7 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Scouler’s Corydalis Corydalis scouleri in Canada (2007)

    Scouler’s corydalis is a tall perennial herb with thick rhizomes. Stems are hollow, simple or somewhat branched above and 40–120 cm tall. The blue-green, glaucous (white to blue waxy powder) leaves are usually three in number, from near or above the middle of the stem. The lower one is often 20–30 cm long. The terminal inflorescence, appearing in May and June, is usually a compound raceme (an elongated inflorescence with youngest flowers at the tip) of 15–20, spurred, rosy-pink flowers.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Scouler's Corydalis (2007)

    A conspicuous perennial herb of riverside habitats that is restricted to a small region of south-western Vancouver Island. The species was previously assessed as threatened but is now known to be present at additional locations and is much more abundant than previously documented. There is no evidence of population decline or fluctuation and no significant threats appear to affect the species. More than one-half of the population is now in protected areas specifically managed for this species and, since extensive areas of suitable habitat remain to be surveyed, additional populations will likely be discovered.


COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2007 (2007)

    2007 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act - Terrestrial Species (2008)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by March 25, 2008 for species undergoing normal consultations and by March 27, 2009 for species undergoing extended consultations.