Fodder Vetch - Vicia villosa

Alt Name
Hairy Vetch

A sprawling plant superficially resembling Tufted Vetch but more hairy and flowers often more purple in colour and sometimes with white or yellowish wings, 10 to 20 mm in long stalked racemes. It has 4 to 12 pairs of leaflets which are linear to narrow-elliptical.

Photo ID?

Usually derived from grain, bird-seed or wool shoddy imports, and occurring as a casual on waste ground, tips and in arable fields. It sometimes survives for a few years on grassy banks.

When to see it

Flowers June to November.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread in England but very local.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in only 1 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map