Adlumia fungosa (Allegheny Vine)

Plant Info
Also known as: Climbing Fumitory, Mountain Fringe
Family:Fumariaceae (Fumitory)
Life cycle:biennial
  • State Special Concern
Habitat:part shade, shade, sun; moist, rocky woods, thickets and slopes
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:2 to 12 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] Loose, pendulous, branching clusters in leaf axils scattered along the stem. Flowers are tubular, narrowly egg-shaped to somewhat heart-shaped, spongy and slightly wrinkled, white to pink, ½ to 2/3 inch long, with 2 lobes at the mouth of the tube that spread out like wings, and a pair of tiny scale-like bracts at the base. Flowers hang down on long, slender, hairless stalks.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: compound

[photo of leaves] Leaves are irregularly 2 or 3 times compound in 3s, oppositely attached, up to 5 inches long and 3 inches wide, on slender stalks. Leaflets are thin, mostly egg-shaped in outline, hairless, toothless, typically 2 or 3-lobed with a minute point at the tip of each lobe, and stalkless or on short, slender stalks. Stems are smooth and can grow to 12 feet long. First year growth is a leafy rosette with the vine bolting the second year.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of developing fruit] The spongy flower persists and turns papery brown, with a slender, cylindric capsule inside, containing shiny, flattened, round seeds.


Allegheny vine is infrequent to rare throughout much of its North American range. A biennial reproducing only from seed, its populations are elusive, typically few in number and rarely persisting in any location for very long, but, according to several sources, may remain in the seedbank for many years before fire or other disturbance sets it free. It prefers cool, moist shady sites, often rocky or steeply sloped. In Minnesota it has been collected fewer than a dozen times, most of them from northeast and north central forests. In 2013 it was listed as a Special Concern species by the Minnesota DNR.

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More photos

Photos courtesy John Thayer taken in Itasca County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Rebecca - Saint Paul
on: 2015-07-25 15:49:21

This vine has grown as a volunteer in my Saint Paul garden for several years now. It is very prolific and takes over whatever trellis it is near. It grew next to my wisteria in 2013 and 2014, but this year (2015) another took up residence 30 feet south, by our back deck. The flowers are dull, but I encouraged it because I love the lacy foliage. It was so easy to grow I thought it was a weed! I am thrilled to know it is a Minnesota native.

Posted by: Meg - Saint Paul
on: 2019-07-08 23:30:07

Like Rebecca this plant is a volunteer in my Saint Paul garden. It is quite vigorous but is pretty.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2019-07-09 05:11:37

It's difficult to believe a rare species such as this, which is limited to northeast MN, is a volunteer in St Paul gardens or grows vigorously. We planted some from seed some years ago and it has shown itself to be a frail and spindly plant. I suspect you have something else in your gardens.

Posted by: Rexius - Saint Paul
on: 2020-06-14 22:38:39

I have this in my St Paul yard too! I was about to rip it out as I was worried I was going to have an invasive vine take over,but then I noticed bleeding heart like flowers, but not quite as they aren't in the line like bleeding hearts usually are. I took a bunch of photos trying to figure out what it was. My flowers are much pinker than the ones pictured here, and it's about 4'-5' long & vining between blueberry plant cages and into lilacs above right now. I did not notice it last year, and the delicate foliage really does stand out. We were building our kids a playhouse last summer nearby, so idk how I missed it, nor how it got there. Cardinals nest nearby in the lilacs, so maybe birds brought it?

Posted by: KW - Woodbury
on: 2020-08-15 18:57:40

Hi, I suspect the species many are seeing in St. Paul may be this plant's relative, Adlumia asiatica, from northern China and Korea. Pictures depict a vigorous vine with pink flowers, and the Flora of China notes that it self-fertilizes easily - "highly autogamous". Potentially a future invasive?

Posted by: Christa - Maine
on: 2020-10-04 08:20:11

Any wisdom you can share on how to distinguish between the native one and asiatica? References? Thanks .

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2020-10-04 10:26:42

Christa, there is little documentation on the Asian species, other than the Flora of China reference noted above. It has not (yet) been reported as escaping cultivation in the US. Both are annual or biennial and reproduce only by seed, but the Asian species is apparently a more robust plant than the native, which is pretty much always delicate and spindly. Other characteristics, such as leaf and flower shape, are apparently very similar between the two.

Posted by: Virginia Windschitl - Farmington
on: 2024-06-28 10:17:53

Adlumia fungosa has been sold by the Friends plant sale as recently as 2023 which is probably why it is in the Twin Cities area. It is a biennial and I bought it several years ago. Did not notice it last year but have a lot of plants this year.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2024-06-28 12:37:28

Virginia, while cultivated plants may well be in the Metro area, it seems unlikely this would escape cultivation and volunteer in someone's yard. BTW, the abundance you see in your own garden this year is most likely due to the abundant rain. The past 2 springs were pretty droughty and many species did poorly.

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