Comprehensive Description


Herbs, sometimes climbing; juice clear. Leaves alternate, much divided. Flowers in leaf-opposed racemes, zygomorphic, bisexual, hypogynous. Sepals 2, caducous. Petals 4, in two dissimilar whorls, one petal of the outer whorl spurred. Stamens 2. Ovary 1-locular. Fruit a 1-seeded nutlet.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe


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Fumaria muralis

Fumariaceae Bercht. & J.Presl (fumitory, fumewort, or bleeding-heart family; sometimes treated as subfamily Fumarioideae under family Papaveraceae) is a family of about 575 species of herbaceous plants in 20 genera, native to the Northern Hemisphere and South Africa. The APG III system does not recognize the family, including all its members in the family Papaveraceae instead.



Flower shape

Plants in the fumitory family are easily recognised by their peculiar flowers with two dissimilar pairs of petals. One or both of the outer petals is usually spurred, and the inner petals are connected at tip.

There are two types of flowers. A given genus has one type or the other. Dicentra has flowers with two planes of symmetry, and Corydalis has flowers with one plane of symmetry (zygomorphic).


Most species have compound leaves.


The APG II system, of 2003 (unchanged from the APG system, of 1998), does not recognize this family, not as such.  However, it does allow it to be segregated from the family Papaveraceae, as an optional segregate.  APG II, in as far as it accepts this family, places it in the order Ranunculales, in the clade eudicots.


There are 20 genera:


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Source: Wikipedia


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