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Grass Vetchling

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A nationally rare flower that can be found here on the cliffs of the Dorset coast. 


Grass Vetchling: a real gem

Post date: Sunday, 4 December, 2016 - 21:18

This is one of the nations rare flowers that can be found here in Dorset. Grass vetchling (Lathyrus nissolia) is found on rough pasture by the sea along the coast from Devon to Lincolnshire and Dorset, especially Durlston Country Park, is one of the best places to see it. The plant of the grass vetchling is almost indistinguishable from common grass varieties until its perfect, small, pea shaped flowers emerge for a short time in June and July. It is this resemblance to a grass that gives it its name of the grass vetchling. 

There are a couple of other places in Purbeck where it occurs, on the cliffs around Kimmeridge Bay is one. I am not sure if it occurs outside Purbeck but would not be surprised to find it on Portland. A lovely little gem, hard to find but well worth the effort.


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 Grass Vetchling
Scientific Name Lathyrus nissolia
Family Pea family - Leguminosae
Status Rare
Interest Level
Species Family Pea Family - Fabaceae
Flower Colour Group Pink
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
Preferred Environment
Look for Red coloured pea flower
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
GC: Calcareous Grassland Associated