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Bush Vetch

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A robust vetch of hedgerows and scrub where it can climb to be quite a large plant.



Bush Vetch: purple haze

Post date: Tuesday, 8 November, 2016 - 21:09

Bush vetch (Vicia sepium) is a member of the pea family and is a climbing plant using tendrils to cling to its host. It is not bush vetch because it forms a bush but because it is found in bushes where it grows up using the bush for support.

Amongst vetches with the classic pea flower bush vetch is fairly distinctive because the flowers are larger than most and tend to form in clusters a bit like a clover.  Each flower starts as dull shade of purple that then turns blue with age and so often a plant will seem to have two different coloured flowers with several shades in between also present. It produces pods after flowering which turn black when ripe. 

Flowering as early as April it can go on producing flowers right through until November. It is quite common and can be found in hedgerows and scrubby places where there are bushes to support it. It is popular plant with insects with bees and bumblebees very keen on its nectar and beetles, weevils and other creatures feeding on the leaves and seed pods.


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

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Bush Vetch
Scientific Name Vicia sepium
Family Pea family - Leguminosae
Status Restricted
Interest Level
Species Family Pea Family - Fabaceae
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
Preferred Environment
Look for Clmbing vetch with purple and mauve flowers
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
W1: Broad-leaf Woodland Associated
SH: Hedgerow Scrub Associated
SM: Mixed Scrub Associated