Common Fumitory

©Philip Precey

Common Fumitory

Scientific name: Fumaria officinalis
A scrambling 'weed' of waste ground, fields and gardens, Common Fumitory can be found on dry and disturbed soils. Its pink flowers appear over spring and summer.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 10cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to October

About

Common Fumitory is a common, scrambling plant that grounds in arable fields and on waste ground in the wider countryside, and favours well-drained, disturbed and bare soils. It can also be found in gardens, where some gardeners view it as a weed.
It has crimson-tipped, pink flowers that appear from April to October.

How to identify

A scrambling plant, Common Fumitory has small, much-divided, grey-green leaves and crimson-tipped, pink flowers.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Historically, herbalists have used Common Fumitory to treat conjunctivitis and skin diseases, and to cleanse the kidneys. But the plant is actually poisonous, so this should not be tried at home.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.