Bush Vetch

©John M Haddon

Bush vetch

Scientific name: Vicia sepium
A scrambling plant, Bush vetch has lilac-blue flowers. It is a member of the pea family and can be seen along woodland edges and roadside verges, and on scrubland and grassland.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 1m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to November

About

Bush vetch is a member of the pea and clover family (legumes). It can be found scrambling through many different habitats, including woodland edges, rough grassland, roadside verges and scrubland. Lilac flowers appear between April and November attracting bumblebees and Honeybees. Weevils, beetles and caterpillars also feed on Bush vetch.

How to identify

Bush vetch is a scrambling plant, with ladder-like leaves that are arranged in pairs on either side of the stem; branched tendrils used for climbing and grasping often spiral from the ends. It displays small groups of two to six pale lilac-blue flowers, and its seed pods are black and hairless and look like peapods.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The disappearance of many of our wildflowers from the countryside has had a major impact on our bumblebees - two species are already nationally extinct and many others are in serious trouble. But you can help bumblebees by planting nectar-rich flowers, including Bush vetch, in your own garden.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers, landowners and planners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.