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Genus Fumaria Family Papaveraceae

Description: Annual herbs, delicate, glabrous, often glaucous, stems weak, angular and often trailing or climbing.

Leaves deeply divided 2 or 3 times, ultimate segments variously pinnatisect, leaves on young plants often forming rosettes, stem leaves alternate, some species ± climbing by sensitive petiolules.

Inflorescence a raceme, 10–40-flowered, usually dense during flowering and elongating during fruiting stage.

Fruit nut-like, ± globose, 2–3 mm diam.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 50 species, Europe, Mediterranean, Asia & 1 species East Africa. Australia: c. 7 species (naturalised), all States.

All species in New South Wales are weeds, often growing in cultivation, near habitations or along creeks. Fumaria formerly placed in family Fumariaceae. Note: the measurement of the corolla is that of the larger flowers; some species also produce cleistogamous flowers with a small corolla, especially towards the end of flowering season. A number of species are cultivated as ornamentals, especially in cooler districts.

Text by G.J. Harden
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed April 2017)

 Key to the species 
1Leaf segments flat, more or less lanceolate to ovate, more than 2 mm wide; peduncle in fruiting stage at least 10 mm long; dried fruit smooth or wrinkled2
Leaf segments channelled, more or less linear, usually less than 1 mm wide; peduncle in fruiting stage more or less absent or less than 10 mm long; dried fruit wrinkled8
2Pedicels recurved in fruit; inflorescence much shorter than the relatively long peduncle; fruit smooth when dryFumaria capreolata
Fruiting pedicels erect or spreading; inflorescence at least as long as the peduncle; fruit usually wrinkled, seldom smooth
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3
3Corolla more than 9 mm long; lower petal not spathulate4
Corolla less than 9 mm long; lower petal spathulate or not spathulate
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5
4Inflorescences usually less than 15-flowered; fruit mostly smooth, sometimes finely wrinkled, when dry; lower petal with erect margins; upper petal dorsally compressedFumaria muralis
Inflorescences 15–25-flowered; fruit distinctly wrinkled when dry; lower petal with spreading margins; upper petal laterally compressed
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Fumaria bastardii
5Sepals less than 1 mm long; bracts at least as long as the pedicelsFumaria indica
Sepals ± 1.5 mm long; bracts shorter than the pedicels
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6
6Lower petal not spathulate7
Lower petal spathulate
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Fumaria officinalis
7Inflorescences mostly 12–15-flowered; fruit smooth or finely wrinkled when dry; lower petal with erect margins; upper petal dorsally compressed. Smaller cleistogamous flowersFumaria muralis
Inflorescences 15–25-flowered; fruit distinctly wrinkled when dry; lower petal with spreading margins; upper petal laterally compressed. Smaller cleistogamous flowers
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Fumaria bastardii
8Inflorescences sessile; sepals less than 1.5 mm long; corolla mostly white, usually 4–6 mm longFumaria parviflora
Inflorescences usually shortly pedunculate; sepals 2.5–3.5 mm long; corolla pink, mostly 6–7 mm long
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Fumaria densiflora

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