Scientific Name: Lathyrus linifolius (Fabaceae).
English Name: Bitter Vetch; Heath Pea (Pea family).
French Name: Gesse à feuilles de lin (='flax leaved legume').
5 Key Characters:
- leaf stems are winged.
- flowers start out pinky-red and turn blue as they age.
- seedpod long and red-brown.
- 15 - 30 cm tall, erect.
- leaves divide into 2-4 pairs of leaflets.
Habitat: Damp rough grassland on neutral or acidic soil, open deciduous woodland, forest edges, hedgerows, grassy banks.
Flowering Period: May-June-July.
Status: The tubers contain a substance which suppresses thirst and hunger pangs. It is declining as pasture is 'improved' and and meadows ploughed up.
References and Further Reading: Bitter-vetch post on Days on the Claise.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
|On the side of a gravel track, between pasture and forest, near Chaumussay.|