Denseflower Fumitory

Fumaria densiflora DC.

Synonyms - Fumaria micrantha

Family: Papaveraceae (was Fumariaceae)

Names:

Fumaria is from the Latin fumus terrae meaning smoke of the earth and may refer to the smoky odour of some species in this genus or the smoky colour of some species when in flower.
Denseflower Fumitory refers to the crowded flower head.

Other names:

Cluster Flowered Fumitory

Summary:

A hairless, blue-green annual vine with lobed to finely divided leaves, small pink flowers with dark tips in dense clusters from August to October and a semi-erect or prostrate and scrambling habit. The leaves tend to be cupped and the lobes of the leaves are usually channelled.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two. The cotyledon is lance shaped, 20 to 40 mm long overall with a petiole 7 to 15 mm long, and hairless. The tip is pointed. Edges parallel. Base tapered. The seedling has a long hypocotyl but no epicotyl.

First leaves:

The leaves develop singly and are hairless, with the early leaves being 20 to 35 mm long overall with a petiole 10 to 20 mm. The plant usually has a distinct blue/green colour. The first leaf is trifoliate with lobed leaflets.

Leaves:

Alternate.
Later leaves become progressively more lobed and compound. The leaflets tend to be cupped and not spread flat. The plant develops as a rosette.
Stipules -
Petiole - Shorter than the blade to longer than the blade and hairy.
Blade - Blue-green to grey, 2-3 times divided. Segments are narrow, parallel sided and slightly channelled. Hairless.
Stem leaves - Alternate, 50 to 80 mm long overall with a long petiole and hairless. The lobes of the upper stem leaves are much narrower than those of the rosette leaves.

Stems:

Blue-green to grey, semi erect, prostrate or scrambling, soft, many branched, reach 500 mm in length, are solid and circular or 5 sided, in cross section with longitudinal ridges, smooth and hairless.

Flower head:

The inflorescences are terminal and axillary, and consist of a large number, at least 30 and frequently more, individual flowers that are tightly clustered.

Flowers:

3-5 mm long and carried on a short stem, elongated and of the typical tubular Fumitory shape.
Bracts - Oblong. About the same size or longer than the pedicel.
Ovary - Thread like style with 2 stigmas.
Sepals - 2, scale-like, flat, finely toothed. Wider than the petals and half as long.
Petals - Pink with a dark red tip, 2 pairs, 5 mm long. Petals close together at their tips.
Stamens - 6. Opposite outer petals. Joined by their filaments into 2 bundles.
Anthers - 2 sets of 3. The middle one has 2 cells the outer ones have 1 cell.

Fruit:

Seeds:

Globular nut, 2 mm diameter with 2 pits at the top. Surface wrinkled and with a network pattern.

Roots:

Key Characters:

Pink flowers, 3-5 mm long, in dense racemes. Sepals wider than the corolla. Fruit is indehiscent.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual. Germination occurs from autumn to spring. It flowers in spring.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

August to October in SA.
Late winter and spring in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Europe. Mediterranean.

Distribution:

NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Denseflower Fumitory occurs locally in the South, North and North-West of Tasmania, but its full distribution is not currently known.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Detrimental:

Weed of cereals, vegetable crops.

Toxicity:

May be toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

There are indications that it may be more resistant than Fumaria muralis to certain herbicides.

Thresholds:

If present in numbers it can be strongly competitive. The plants are usually somewhat smaller than Wall Fumitory (Fumaria muralis).

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Bastard's Fumitory (Fumaria bastardii)
Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis)
Indian Fumitory (Fumaria indica)
Smallflower Fumitory (Fumaria parviflora)
Wall Fumitory (Fumaria muralis)
Whiteflower Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata).

Plants of similar appearance:

Denseflower Fumitory can be distinguished from Wall Fumitory in the early stages by the leaves and leaflets that are smaller and cupped rather than flat, and by its blue-green as opposed to grey/green colour. In the mature stage the size and number of flowers can separate the two species in the inflorescence.
Carrot weed has similar leaves but has yellow flowers.
Erodium and Storksbill have similar leaves but with hairs, the flowers are blue and they have corkscrew fruit.
Parsley Piert
Swinecress

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P173.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P368.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P164.

Hyde-Wyatt, B.H. and Morris, D.I. (1975). Tasmanian weed handbook. (Tasmanian Department of Agriculture, Hobart, Tasmania). P66-67. Diagrams.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #563.3.

Wilding, J.L. et al. (1987). Crop weeds. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P114-115. Diagrams. Photos.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.