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|
|Family||Pea family - Leguminosae|
|Flower Colour Group||Purple|
|Look for||Medium sized purple and blue pea shaped flower|
|Additional Identification Notes|