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Bitter Vetchling

Known as bitter vetch until recently but it seems that because the stem is winged it cannot be a vetch so it is now known as bitter vetchling! Whatever it is called it is an unmistakable member of the pea family, leguminosae.

It is generally the first flower of this family to blossom and can sometimes be seen in April but it is usually in full flower from May through until July. It is a plant that likes acid soils but can grow just about anywhere within that constraint so it is common in some areas whilst being totally absent in others.The two-tone purple flowers are generally diagnostic there being no other member of the family quite like this.


Common Name Bitter Vetchling
Alternative Name(s) Bitter Vetch
Scientific Name Lathyrus linifolius
Species Group Pea Family Fabaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Pea family - Leguminosae
Status Occasional
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
Preferred Environment
Look for Medium sized purple and blue pea shaped flower
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Pea Family Fabaceae