Perennial herb with deeply seated, underground, tuberous rootstock; aerial stem 15-30 (-40) cm tall, erect, usually unbranched, glabrous, subglaucous, without radical leaves. Cauline leaves 2, usually opposite, (5-) 10-20 (-25) cm long, 2-3-ternate, compound, petiolate with petiole usually longer than petiolules; ultimate segments or lobes (leaflets) usually elliptic-oblong, entire or subentire, subfleshy, unequal to subequal in size, terminal or middle lobe of each group of 3(-5) lobes largest, (10-) 15-40 (-45) mm long, 5-10 mm broad, excluding the petiolules, sometimes almost sessile, 3-5 somewhat parallel veined. Racemes 5-15-flowered, lax, exceeding the cauline leaves, (5-) 10-15 cm long; bracts ovate-oblong to lanceolate, 8-20 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, entire or subentire, sessile with broad bases, acute. Flowers 15-20 (-25) mm long (from spur base to the apex of upper petal), showy, purple or bright orange-yellow with violaceous-pink darker tips; spur as long or a little longer than the lamina of upper petal (±half as long as the flower), infundibuliform to subcylindrical, usually conspicuously upcurved with ± downcurved base. Sepals 1-1.5 mm in diameter, suborbicular, denticulate. Lamina of upper petal broad, usually 7-10 mm wide, somewhat upcurved, with emarginate apex; lamina of lower petal ± similar to that of upper petal. Inner petals narrow, much smaller than outer petals. Pedicels often exceeding the bracts in fruit, spreading to deflexed. Capsules oblong-elliptic to oblong-ovate, 10-15 mm long, 4-5 mm broad, abruptly narrowed at the apex with 3-4 mm long style, curved above with dilated stigma; valves somewhat tumid, parallel-veined, slightly brownish; seeds biseriate, usually 5-8, c. 2 mm in diameter, shining black.
Fl. Per.: March July.
Type: Nepal Himalaya, Wallich (K-W).
Distribution: Throughout the Himalayas, Pakistan.
A variable taxon especially the leaflets and flower size and curvature of spur. One of the leaves often exceeds the other in size, and very rarely a branch may be found in the axil of the larger leaf; still more rare is to find the branch is alone present and the main axis remains suppressed. It differs from Corydalis rutifolia (Sibth. & Sm.) DC., by its racemes exceeding the leaves and more than 5-flowered, petiole longer than petiolules.