Purple ramping-fumitory Fumaria purpurea

Status
Best Time to See
Colour
Habitat Grassland

A large-flowered fumitory with broad and flat leaves.

Like many fumitories the flowers are long and pinkish-purple with the petals tipped a darker shade.

Purple ramping-fumitory is endemic to the UK - which means not only is it a native plant, but this is the only place it grows naturally in the world. Nevertheless, it is also under threat.

Distribution

Mainly found in the western regions of the UK from Cornwall and Hampshire to Orkney. It is most frequent in Cornwall and Lancashire. In Ireland it is mainly scattered along the east coast. It has been recorded a few times in the Channel Islands.

Habitat

Arable and horticultural field margins. It is also found in hedge banks and earth-core walls (particularly in the South West) and other disturbed places or in habitats opened up by summer drought. Favours free draining sandy loam soils.

Best time to see

Flowering times can vary but peak time is from mid-April to early August. In the Scottish Boarders flowering can be as late as October.

Status

It is classified as ‘Nationally Scarce’ (found in < 100 10-km squares), but not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild. The species is also listed as a Priority Species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Key threats

Modern farming methods - key factors being the move to autumn sown cropping, the introduction of broad-spectrum herbicides. It has also declined in areas where there has been high arable reversion to grassland.