Fumaria L.


Latin fumus—smoke, referring to both the smoky smell of some species and to the fact that the juice, like smoke, brings tears to the eyes.

Annual herbs, stems long, spreading or climbing. Leaves divided 2-4 times. Flowers with short stalks. Sepals 2, lateral. Petals 4, irregular, with 2 inner petals and a lower one, the upper petal being spurred. Fruit 1-seeded.

These are mostly common spring-flowering garden and wayside weeds that are not grown for ornament, although the curious flowers and ferny leaves are quite attractive. The most common is F. muralis Koch. This may be easily confused with another species that is quite widespread, F. bastardii Boreau; F. capreolata L., is less widespread and has white, not pinkish-purple, flowers.

Scrambling garden weeds with ferny leaves; flowers with 1 spur; fruit capsules 1-seeded.

About 50 species, mostly from the Mediterranean but also 1 species in Himalaya and in E. Africa.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Fumariaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Ranunculanae
order      Ranunculales
family       Papaveraceae