GRASS VETCHLING

Lathyrus nissolia

Pea Family [Fabaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8red
flower
flower8purple
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8hollow

5th July 2015, Rimrose Valley Pk, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
With leaves so indistinguishable from those of grass as to be almost un-findable in grassland (its habitat) without the presence of the crimson-red flowers.


5th July 2015, Rimrose Valley Pk, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Full-frontal of flower: large banner in foreground, two shorter wings partially hiding between two smaller pale-pink to white keels which in their turn hide the stigma and stamens. Hairless apart from short thinner flower petiole (stalk).


5th July 2015, Rimrose Valley Pk, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Reverse view shows that the pale-pink to white keels are quite long and not well hidden.


5th July 2015, Rimrose Valley Pk, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Distinctly kinked flower presentation by means of the off-axis wedding of the stalk to the sepal tube. The flower itself also has a pronounced curve. Sepal tube has 5 teeth as is usual in the Fabaceae family. Two tiny stipules on main stalk where the thinner upwardly-curved flower petiole emerges.


5th July 2015, Rimrose Valley Pk, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Seed pods straightish and narrow and between 30 - 60mm long. The leaves, which are up to 15cm long, are very grass-like, being a simple blade with two tiny stipules at the base (not shown).


5th July 2015, Rimrose Valley Pk, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Only the seed pod on the left belongs to Grass Vetchling; the other shorter and fatter seed pod belongs to a Tare, possibly Hairy Tare (Vicia hirsuta).


Similar to :

  • Hairy Vetchling (Lathyrus hirsutus) but that has blue-purple flowers, is hairy, possesses tendrils, and has pairs of much shorter leaflets.
  • Yellow Vetchling (Lathyrus aphaca) but that has yellow flowers, pairs of very wide but very short leaves and tendrils.
  • Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis) which also has yellow flowers, a pair of lanceolate leaflets with two long stipules with a tendril.
Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The deep-red pea-type flower together with the grass-like leaf blade with tiny usually inconspicuous stipules at the base. Lacking tendrils and without wings on the stem. Stem hollow and square-ish...

A native growing in grassy places. It is local in both England and between South Wales and North Lincolnshire. Frequent only in the south it is a rare casual elsewhere.


  Lathyrus nissolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pea family8Fabaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Lathyrus
Lathyrus
(Peas)

GRASS VETCHLING

Lathyrus nissolia

Pea Family [Fabaceae]