Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Fumaria purpurea - Purple Ramping-fumitory

Range & Status

Endemic to Britain. Patchily distributed from Cornwall north, through western Britain, to north-east England and eastern Scotland to Orkney. Scattered in Ireland, more frequent in the east, and also in the Channel Islands.

Regional Distribution

Almost restricted to West Cornwall, where it can be very localised. Perhaps most frequently encountered around St. Ives (SW54) and Hayle (SW53). It has occurred on the Isles of Scilly.

Habitat & Ecology

Grows along road verges and hedges, and in gardens, waste places and cultivated fields, particularly within a few miles of the coast. Present in 27 1km squares, but has been recorded from a total of 70 1km squares. Soil disturbance has been observed to be beneficial and yet it has been a very persistent plant at a few sites where such disturbance is minimal.


The use of bark chippings to control weeds in flowerbeds has destroyed one population and hedge trimming at inappropriate times of year may decimate populations.


The local authorities need to be made aware of its presence along particular highways. Few if any sites are protected.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.