Evening Primrose and Common Fumitory


Evening primrose is a garden escape that is well established in other Irish dune areas but has only been seen in recent years on the Bull Island near the Interpretive Centre.

It has a stout stem from 40-80 cm high covered in short reddish-based hairs, giving it a bristly look. The spiral short-stalked lanceolate leaves are up to 25 cm long, faintly toothed, with a reddish midrib.

Flowers are in a loose spike near the stem top. The four bright yellow slightly heart-shaped petals open abruptly at dusk to about 50 mm across, giving off a scent attractive to pollinating moths. There are four long pointed green sepals that bend down and 8 yellow stamens.

Fruit is a 35 mm tapered capsule that splits into four, releasing the many seeds.

Flowers: June-Sept.

COMMON FUMITORY (Fumaria officinalis)

This tall feathery-looking plant can be found in the dune grassland along the golf course fencerow. Its deeply divided stalked pinnate leaves are bluish-green and alternately arranged.

The stalked flower spike is about 9 mm long and contains from 10-20 flowers in a loose spike.

There are two short sepals enclosing four long petals closely joined in a tubular shape. They are a pinkish-purple colour ending in deep red tips.

Fruits are globular unopened capsules about 2mm in size.

Flowers: June-Sept.

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