Tufted Vetch – Vicia cracca

Also called ‘Cow Vetch’ or ‘Bird Vetch’, this plant produces an abundance of deep violet-blue flowers on long spikes. The leaves are divided into many pairs (5-12 pairs) of narrow lanceolate leaflets. At the end of the leaf is a tendril which helps to support the plant by clasping onto other, more robust species.

It flowers June to August. A spectacular sight in meadows. Also found in old pasture, woodland edges, hedgerows, scrub and coastal shingle. A native species, and common and widespread.