Lentil - Vicia lens


Lens culinaris is a bushy plant of the legume family, known for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. The flowers resemble those of Smooth Tare, they are pale whitish, often with a violet tinge and are borne several to a stem.

Similar Species

Hairy Tare (Ervilia (Vicia) hirsuta)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

All the calyx teeth >2 times as long as tube; tares have at least 2 calyx teeth <2 tims as long as the tube.   Lentil has style hairy on upperside only; other tares have styles hairy all round or on lowerside only

Recording advice

General photo of the plant in its habitat, plus details of flowers/fruits, including calyx


Waste places and disturbed soil, often close to habitation.

When to see it

Flowering June and July.

Life History


UK Status

Infrequent scattered records in Britain.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

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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