Wall Fumitory | Fumaria muralis

California Pest Rating Profile

Fumaria muralis Sand W.D. J. Koch  |  Wall Fumitory
Ranunculales: Papaveraceae
Pest Rating: C | Seed Rating: Not Rated

Initiating Event:

Fumaria muralis has been observed growing naturally in Santa Clara county in February 2018 by Italian botanist Valerio Lazzeri. This species is thought to be new to California. CDFA has not intercepted this species via any regulatory means to date and no rating has been assigned to this species. A pest rating proposal is required to assign a permanent rating.

History & Status:


Fumaria muralis is a sprawling annual herb that is delicate, hairless, branched and dull green in color. Its stems are weak, angular and are 10-50cm long. The leaves are finely divided down to midrib, lance to pear shaped, and form a rosette on young plants. Flowers are small, tubular and narrow with a red to pink to purple coloring and darker tips (Global Net Academy, 2018). Fumaria muralis can be distinguished from other related species by its larger flowers that have pink petals with a dirty red color at the tips. Flowering time is from June to December. It has less than 15 flowers per flowerhead and the fruit stems are erect (International Environmental Weed Foundation, 2005).

Fumaria muralis is native to Europe and north Africa (Western Australia Herbarium, 2017). It occurs commonly in crops, pastures, roadsides, home gardens and waste places (Tamar Natural Resource Management, 2015). Any soil disturbance can cause mass emergence of seedlings. Naturalized populations are found in agricultural fields but it has also been found on pond margins, in coastal dunes, on rough grounds and in dumps (Groom, 2013)

Fumaria muralis can germinate throughout the year but the main flush occurs from April to October. It grows actively from May to November. It can be difficult to control due to a persistent soil seed bank. Herbicide treatment may or may not be effective because various fumaria species can be resistant to herbicides (Western Australia Herbarium, 2017).

Worldwide Distribution:

Fumaria muralis is native in Europe and North Africa. It is widely naturalized outside its native range. Naturized populations occur in southern Australia (Western Australia Herbarium, 2017), Tasmania (Global Net Academy, 2018), and Canada (Brouillet et al. 2010)

Official Control:

Fumaria muralis has been reported as a harmful organism in Brazil and is under official control (USDA- APHIS- PCIT).

California Distribution: Fumaria muralis has been recently (February 2018) observed occurring naturally in Santa Clara county and a voucher specimen has been confirmed by a botanist in Italy, Valerio Lazzeri.

California InterceptionsFumaria muralis has not been intercepted by CDFA through any regulatory pathways.

The risk Fumaria muralis (wall fumitory) would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Fumaria muralis grows in plant hardiness zone of 5 -9 in Europe. It prefers heavy soils and high April rainfall (Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority, 2008). Fumaria muralis is growing naturally in limited areas of California, near habitats like creek, trails and parks. It is also likely to grow in pastures, roadsides, home gardens and waste lands.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California.  Score:

Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Fumaria muralis do not require one host but can occur where environmental conditions are favorable for its growth and establishment. It receives a High (3) in this category

Evaluate the host range of the pest.

Low (1) has a very limited host range.

Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential:  Fumaria reproduces seeds can remain viable in in the ground for up to 20 years. Seeds can germinate throughout the year and the plant can grow actively for half the year. Dispersal is through contaminated seed, soil movement and water runoff. Long and short range dispersal can also be aided by human and ant activity. It receives a High (3) in this category

Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest.

Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Fumaria muralis may compete strongly with crops, particularly cereals, vegetable and legume crops. The impacts of Fumaria sp. depends on the affected crop, time of emergence and density of infestation (Norton 2003). Fumaria species can reduce wheat yields by up to 40% and canola yields by up to 36% (Best management practices for dryland cropping systems, 2008). If this species were to establish in California, cultural practices such as cultivation, crop rotation, grazing, burning crop residues, use of competitive crops and seed cleaning would likely to be modified to reduce its growth and establishment. It receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below: A, B, D

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 3

Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: Fumaria muralis is not likely to lower biodiversity and change ecosystems. Fumaria spps. can be weeds of gardens, roadsides and disturbed areas and are not likely to affect endangered and threatened species in California. Because it is a likely garden weed, it could impact home and urban gardening.  It receives a Medium (2) in this category.

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score: 2

Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Fumaria muralis (wall fumitory) Medium (13)

Add up the total score and include it here.

Low = 5-8 points

Medium = 9-12 points

High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information:  Fumaria muralis has been found occurring naturally in limited part of California but has not established fully in the state and receives a Low (-1) in this category.

Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included.

Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (12)


Fumaria muralis has been observed growing naturally but in very limited areas. Since it is like other weedy Fumaria spps, it could be more widespread than currently reported. Further sampling and examining other Fumaria specimens may reduce uncertainty regarding current distribution of this species

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Fumaria muralis has been verified in California in 2018, but it has not caused any significant economic and environment impacts to the State’s agriculture and urban environment yet. However, recent credible reports indicate that is more widespread than recognized and occupies areas where other fumitory species might be expected. According to reports from Europe, it acts as other weedy species of Fumaria, so it would likely have no more impact than they do; therefore, its impacts would be modest.  A “C” rating is justified.


Brouillet et al. 2010+. Fumaria muralis Sonder ex W.D.J. Koch in VASCAN, the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada. Accessed 03/05/2018: https://www.gbif.org/species/100018818

Cal Flora 2018. Information on wild California plants for conservation, education and appreciation. Fumaria muralis. Accessed 03/01/2018:  https://www.calflora.org/entry/observ.html#srch=t&obs=parsons&cols=b

GlobalNet Academy 2018. Training and Consultancy Organization. Australia. Accessed  03/01/2018:  https://www.globalnetacademy.edu.au/what-weed-is-that-fumaria/

Groom, Q. 2013. Manual of the Alien plants of Belgium. Accessed 03/16/2018: http://alienplantsbelgium.be/content/fumaria-muralis

International Environmental Weed Foundation (IEWF) 2005. Common Invasive plants in Australia. Fumaria muralis. Accessed 03/06/2018: http://www.iewf.org/weedid/Fumaria_muralis.htm

Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority, 2008. Best management practices     for dryland cropping systems Fumaria species. New South Wales Government.  Department of Primary Industries. Accessed 03/05/2018:  http://archive.lls.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/495349/archive-fumitory.pdf

Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT), Phytosanitary Export Database (PExD), USDA, APHIS. Accessed 03/01/2018: https://pcit.aphis.usda.gov/PExD/faces/ReportFormat.jsp

Tamar Natural Resource Management 2015. Tamar Valley Weed Strategy- Fumitory.  Tasmania, Australia. Accessed 03/06/2018:  http://www.weeds.asn.au/tasmanian-weeds/view-by-common-name/fumitory/

Western Australia Herbarium 2017. Flora base-The Western Australia Flora 2017.  Accessed 03/01/2018:  https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/2971


Raj Randhawa, 1220 ‘N’ Street, Room 221, Sacramento CA 95814, (916) 654-0317, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov

Responsible Party:

Dean G. Kelch, Primary Botanist; California Department of Food and Agriculture; 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; Tel. (916) 403-6650;  plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.

Updated on 7/11/2019 by ls