Fumitory, Common

Information on Common Fumitory

Common Name: Common Fumitory
Scientific Name: Fumaria officinalis
Irish Name: Camán searraigh díge
Family Group: Papaveraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Common Fumitory could sometimes be confused with:

Ramping-fumitory, Common,

Common Fumitory grows to a height of 20-30cm, bearing 20-40 flowers in dense spikes that are longer than their stalks. Very similar to other fumitories, this particular species can be identified by the shape of its lower petals. While being quite similar to Common Ramping-fumitory, the lower petals are paddle-shaped and have crimson tips. The upper petals are flattened with the wings concealing the keel. The sepals are irregularly toothed. The flowers are born on weak scrambling stems. The leaves are grey-green and divided with flat, narrow leaflets.

This species is an introduced annual that grows on dry, arable soil and is common in the east and the midlands of Ireland. It belongs to the Poppy/Papaveracea family and flowers from May to October. 

I first saw this species in spring of 2020, on a short walk during lockdown. It was growing in Dalkey, Co Dublin, on ground that was within our permitted range and I thought it was Common Ramping-fumitory until Paul Green, BSBI Vice-county Recorder for Wexford, identified it for me, along with two other fumitories that were growing nearby. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Fumitory, Common
Fumitory, Common
Fumitory, Common
Fumitory, Common