photo credit: Dawn Endico
Of all the British wild flowers, Vetch is one of the easiest to identify. Whilst there are numerous species within the UK, each slightly different, the general form of all the British Vetches is similar allowing simple identification.
And once you have spotted a vetch, 90% of the job is done. It’s then just a matter of sitting down with your wild flower book to identify it down to species level.
Vetches are common and wide spread wild plants which can be found in many different habitats around the country. They are arguably most common in wild flower meadows and ungrazed grassland though it is possible to see them even in some woodlands given enough light.
There are two main charateristics of Vetch. They are the flowers – which look almost like Birds Foot Trefoil in shape – and the leaves which are fine, pinnate leaves looking almost like a Sensitive Mimosa.
Below are photos of both the leaves and flowers of the Common Vetch so you know roughly what to look for when you’re next out on a nature walk. If you find any, why not leave me a comment here and tell me what species you found and in what habitat?