Fumariaceae or the Fumitory family is sometimes treated as a subfamily Fumarioideae of the family Papaveraceae. In the APG II system of 2003 it is optionally segregated from Papaveraceae. When considered a family in its own right, various sources list 14 to 19 genera and more than 450 species mostly located in North America and temperate, often montane Eurasia or Africa.
The plants in this family are annual or perennial with brittle stems and watery juice. The leaves are usually alternate and divided and plants are erect to climbing or sprawling. Many of the species are rhizomatous or tuberous. Flowers are irregular, usually with spurred petals. There are 6 stamens in 2 bundles and a one celled ovary. The fruit is usually a capsule.