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categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 

TUFTED VETCH

Vicia cracca

Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug

category
category8Climbers
category
category8Deciduous
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8blue
 
inner
inner8purple
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZspiked
1-sided
stem
stem8round
 

19th July 2007, North Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A sprawling rift of Tufted Vetch.


10th July 2008, Carrington Mess, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
Growing amongst Rosebay Willowherb.


14th August 2008, Adlington, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Tufted Vetch can climb sprawlingly up to 2 metres high.


14th August 2008, Adlington, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
And always has a straggly appearance.


14th August 2008, Adlington, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The narrowish leaves are in 8 - 12 upwardly-angled opposite pairs.


19th July 2007, North Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The purple/mauve flowers with the standard roughly as long as the claw. They rarely open wide enough to see the innards properly.


21st June 2007 Photo: © RWD
Apart from the uppermost, the flowers are in adjacent pairs, all on the same side of the stem.


14th August 2008, Adlington, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The hairlessseed pods eventually turn brown.


25th June 2005, Peak Forest Canal, Strines, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The climbing tendrils are paired up.


5th July 2014, Rimrose Valley Country Pk, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Occcupies and clambers up and spreads through vegetation up to 4 feet but hesitates in denser shrubs where light levels are much poorer. Likes to sunbathe..


20th Sept 2016, Leeds & L/pool canal, Parbold, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Will scramble much higher (here about 9 feet) providing it can get enough sun, which it can here on both sides of a metal mesh fence. Fewer flowers here allow one to see the leaves and their climbing tendrils properly.


3rd July 2015, Gravel Quarry, Moses Gate, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A rather long specimen. Flowers can be deep blue or purple-pink, but usually both at the same time. Evaporating rain drops on inflorescence.


27th July 2012, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Here deep purple-pink.


27th July 2012, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
They don't like showing their backsides. Stems slightly ribbed/striated and with very short hairs.


13th Sept 2018, Upholland, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The sepal cups are very short, their teeth shorter at the top but much longer underneath to support the flower. Stems with short hairs, this specimen with a hairy tail at the termination.


3rd July 2015, Gravel Quarry, Moses Gate, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaf consists of a rachis (stem) supporting between 8 to 12 somewhat haphazardly-paired leaflets. Leaflets slightly shorter near the end of the rachis.


27th July 2012, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaflets extended oval, slightly broader nearer the supporting rachis (stem), haphazardly opposite (or so). The leaflets are on very short petioles (stalks) and have a short acuminate point at the end, which is slightly asymmetrically set.


Some similarities to : Fine-leaved Vetch (Vicia tenuifolia) and to Fodder Vetch (Vicia villosa), but both of these are much less frequent in the UK occurring in only a few places, unlike Tufted Vetch which is almost ubiquitous throughout. Fodder Vetch is an introduced annual species quite rare apart from around London with larger flowers (10-20mm) which are a similar blue colour and the narrow 'stem' of the banner petal is twice as long (not roughly equal as in Tufted Vetch). Fine-leaved Vetch is more of a bluish-lilac to purple colour, rarer than Fodder Vetch and might just only be a sub-species of Tufted Vetch (?).

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :


  Vicia cracca  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
family8Pea family8Fabaceae  family8Leguminosae

 BSBI maps
genus8vicia
Vicia
(Vetches)

TUFTED VETCH

Vicia cracca

Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

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