fumitory, common name for some members of the Fumariaceae, a family of herbs native to much of the Old World, especially temperate Eurasia. The family is closely related to (and sometimes classified with) the poppies. The early spring wildflowers Dutchman's-breeches and squirrel corn, of the NE United States, are of the same genus ( Dicentra ) as is the bleeding heart, a native of Japan naturalized and cultivated in the United States as a garden perennial. Fumitory is a predominantly Mediterranean genus ( Fumaria ) that was once used medicinally. The climbing fumitory, or Allegheny vine, is a North American plant of another genus ( Adlumia ). Several genera of the family are native to S Africa. Fumitory is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Papaverales, family Fumariaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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