Bitter-vetch - Lathyrus linifolius

Alternative names
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.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map