Tufted Vetch

Vicia cracca

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  2. Wildflowers
  3. Tufted Vetch

About

Tufted Vetch, also known as 'Cow Vetch' or 'Bird Vetch', is a member of the pea and clover family (legumes). It lives happily in many different habitats including woodland edges, scrubland, coastal margins and grassland, and can be seen climbing over hedges and banks. The spikes of bluish-violet flowers appear between June and August.

How to identify

Tufted Vetch has long, grey-green leaves that grow in a symmetrical row from long, trailing stems. Curled tendrils used for climbing and grasping often spiral from the ends. Its flowers are pinky-purple tube shapes that turn up into a hood at the end and grow in dense clusters along a spike.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Our common plants provide vital food and shelter for all kinds of wildlife from butterflies to birds. But habitat loss and fragmentation caused by development and agricultural intensification threaten the future of our countryside and the plants and animals that depend upon it. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. We have a vision of a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Tufted Vetch
Latin name
Vicia cracca
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 2m
Conservation status
Common.