Bitter-vetch - Lathyrus linifolius

    Alt Name
    Bitter Vetch

    Short to medium erect, hairless plant with winged stems It has two to four pairs of leaflets. The leaves are linear to elliptical and ending in a point, not a tendril. The flowers are rich crimson-pink, turning bluish and then pale, 10 to 16 mm in long racemes. Pods reddish brown.

    Similar Species

    common and bush vetches have similar flowers

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Stems winged, no tendrils, 2-4 pairs of leaflets

    Recording advice

    a photo of the whole plant, showing leaves and stem


    Found around woodland edge and in damp grassland.

    When to see it

    May to October.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread but not really common in Britain - it is quite rare in East Anglia.

    VC55 Status

    Local in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map