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Drug Fumitory or Earthsmoke (Fumaria officinalis Linnaeus) is the most common of three species of Fumaria found in Alabama. All are introduced European weeds. Drug Fumitory has been found in most of the lower third of Alabama. Like many introduced species, it is often found in disturbed habitats such as fallow fields, on dry sandy roadsides, and along railroad tracks. The other two species, White Ramping Fumitory or Climbing Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata Linnaeus) and Earthsmoke or Few Flower Fumitory (Fumaria vaillantii Loiseleur), have only been collected in Mobile County. Few Flower Fumitory has not been collected since the 1800’s.
In herbal medicine, Drug Fumitory has been used to treat skin diseases, conjunctivitis and kidney disease. It contains alkaloids and Fumaric acid, but extreme care must be taken as plant parts and extracts can lead to poisoning. The common name Earthsmoke as well as the genus name (from the latin fumare—to smoke) may be in reference to the plants greyish
Fumitory is a plant, which is found everywhere on our planet mainly across areas where other plants are cultivated. The leaves of this plant are gray green, alternate and bi- or tro-pinnate with narrow as well as small divisions. Fumitory herb is slender and small with straggling and weak stems, compounds clusters and leaves. The leaves have no odor however taste bitter. Leaves as well as flowers are utilized for producing herbal preparations. Fumitory comes as a liquid extract, a tincture and dried herb. Now, let us have a look at uses of fumitory herb.
Bulbous Fumitory A compact tuberous-rooted kind, 4 inches to 6 or 7 inches high, with dull purplish flowers in April, and a solid bulbous root, quite hardy, and of easy culture in almost any soil. A pretty little plant for borders, for naturalising in open spots in woods, and also for the spring garden. It is naturalised in several parts of England, but its home is in the warmer parts of Europe.
Corydalis Cava - One of the dwarfest race, flowering early in the year, with purplish blossoms. A prettier kind is the variety albiflora, which is similar, save the color of the flowers. Yellow Fumitory (Corydalis Lutea) - Graceful masses of delicate pale green leaves dotted with spurred yellow flowers. It is pretty in borders, and grows to perfection on walls, and the tufts, when emerging from some chink in a fortress wall where rain never falls upon them, are often as full of flower as when planted in fertile soil. A naturalised plant in England. Seeds.