Germander Speedwell's picture

Vetch question

Observed: 15th May 2012 By: Germander Speedwell
Mystery vetch - plant
Mystery vetch - flower
Mystery vetch - leaf

Can anyone help identify or explain this vetch? It was growing alongside Common Vetch, and while its flowers are the same and also grow singly or in pairs, its leaflets are rounded unlike that of the Common Vetch, as you can see in the photos. I haven't found in my books any other vetches with this combination of flowers and leaf shape, so could this be a variation, a hybrid, or simply another species that I haven't read about?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Vetch (Vicia sativa) interacts


adele16's picture

Could it be Bush Vetch? I

Could it be Bush Vetch? I found Bush Vetch growing among Common Vetch recently.

Germander Speedwell's picture

Questionable Vetch

Hello - many thanks for looking at it. I had initially thought Bush Vetch, but according to all my identification guides, the flowers of Bush Vetch appear in groups of 2-6, whereas the flowers of this one appeared singly or in pairs like the Common Vetch. Also the leaflets of Bush Vetch get narrower and smaller along the leaf stem, unlike this example where they all seem the same in size and shape. That's why I'm so confused about this one!
Could it be a hybrid of the two - as you say, if they commonly grow together, perhaps they could hybridise?

Germander Speedwell's picture

Identified - Common Vetch subspecies

Hello - further to the above, the staff at the Angela Marmont Centre have confirmed that this is a subspecies of the Common Vetch, most likely Vicia sativa ssp segetalis. That explains why it resembles the Common Vetch so closely apart from the shape of the leaflets.
Thanks for your suggestions.

adele16's picture

Thanks for sharing that;

Thanks for sharing that; interesting to know.