This rare plant is the largest of the fumitories occurring in the UK, and is endemic, occurring no-where else in the world. Fumitories are all rather similar in appearance and are usually distinguished by their flowers. The Western ramping-fumitory has large, rather striking flowers, 12-14mm in length and with broad margins to the upper and lower petals, whitish at first, then turn pink with age. All members of this family have flowers with dark-tipped petals, which look as if they have been dipped in purple ink. This plant was only recognised as a distinct species in 1904. The name 'fumitory' and the scientific name Fumaria derive from the Latin fumus terrae, meaning 'earth smoke'. This is believed to stem from an early botanist who described the appearance of fumitory 'as if the ground were all of a smoak'.