Vicia lathyroides Plant Identification (Flower, Leaf, Care, Uses)

Vicia lathyroides L. – Spring Vetch

Vicia lathyroides plant





Vicia lathyroides leaves




Vicia lathyroides calyx

Vicia lathyroides flower

Vicia lathyroides fruitMature fruit.

Flowering – March – June.

Habitat – Fields, roadsides, railroads, waste places, disturbed sites.

Origin – Native to Europe.

Other information – This introduced vetch can be found scattered throughout Alabama but is fairly uncommon. The plant can be identified by its very small flowers, which are only about 4-8mm long. Most other species of Vicia in Alabama have larger flowers. The emarginate leaflets of this species are another good character to look for. The stems are moderately pubescent and the hairs are somewhat appressed.
The genus name Vicia is the old Latin name for the genus.
The species epithet lathyroides means “the appearance of Lathyrus“. Lathryus is another genus in the family Fabaceae. “lathyr” is Greek for “a kind of vetch”.

Alabama Distribution:

Vicia lathyroides map

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 4-1-03.