E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Fumaria officinalis L.
common fumatory (common fumitory; drug fumitory)
Papaveraceae (Fumitory family)
(Previously in Fumariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Robert Flogaus-Faust  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26247)

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Distribution of Fumaria officinalis
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Common fumitory in an introduced species in North America that is found across the US and Canada (USDA 2010). It is an annual herb from a taproot, with simple erect, branched stems and reddish purple flowers. Flowers are tiny, less than 10 mm. Leaflet lobes are almost linear. Work by Frank Lomer in the province indicates that it is very rare in BC (Lomer pers. com. 2010).

Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems simple, erect, freely branched, 20-40 cm long, sometimes climbing.
Stem leaves alternate, divided, finely pinnately dissected, the ultimate segments oblanceolate, rounded.
Inflorescence of axillary racemes; corollas reddish-purple, 7-8 mm long, dark purple at the tip; spurs up to 4 mm long.
Nutlets, globose, slightly depressed at the tip, 2.5 mm wide, warty, single-seeded; seeds 1.0-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic disturbed areas in the lowland zone; rare on SE Vancouver Island and adjacent mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References