Tufted Vetch - Vicia cracca

Scientific Name: Vicia cracca.

English Name: Tufted Vetch.

French Name: La Vesce craque; Vesce de Cracovie; Pois a crapaud (='toad pea'); Vesce a ├ępis (='spear vetch').

5 Key Characters:
  • climbing plant up to 2 m.
  • individual leaflets 10 - 25 mm long, arranged in 8 - 13 pairs.
  • 10 - 40 flowers on long spikes (racemes) 2 - 10 cm with stalks about the same length.
  • tendrils branched.
  • only the bottom pair of calyx (green 'cup' the flower sits in) teeth long.
Lookalikes: Fodder Vetch V. villosa is very like, but has very long flowers (>10 mm) and more long teeth on the calyx.

Habitat: Hedges, woodland fringes, scrub.

Flowering Period: April-May-June-July-August.

Status: Common. One of the caterpillar food plants of the Wood White Leptidea sinapis butterfly.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right, top to bottom. 1 on a trackside bordering woodland on a limestone spur near Preuilly-sur-Claise, April.

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