New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Naturalised
Fumaria muralis is an annual herb with weak, many branched, stems up to 1000mm long that that scrambles over the ground and other plants. Leaves are hairless, alternate, forming a rosette. Each leaf has three deeply lobed leaflets, older leaves becoming compound and lobed.
The flowers have a 2 to 3mm stalk, are pink to redish with a dark red tip. The petals are in two pairs about 6 to 15mm long and close together at their tips giving a somewhat cylindrical flower. Flowers are in auxillary and terminal racemes with 10 to 20 flowers.
Fumaria muralis is used in several herbal medicines but care is required as it contains a number of alkaloids that can have toxic side effects.
Fumaria muralis occurs in a wide range of habitats including wasteland, roadsides, gardens, parks, and is a significant agricultural weed that scrambles over crops causing them to fall over and be difficult to harvest.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader