Vicia bithynica Fabaceae Bithynian Vetch

Vicia bithynica nnkb

Description - This is quite an exotic-looking plant with its two-toned flower with purple standard and white wings and keel, and that's before you hear its name! It can scramble up other vegetation to reach around 30cm in height. Leaves are pinnate, with one or two pairs of long, narrow leaflets, and tendrils at the end. The bracts at the leaf base are most distinctive, bearing several sharply pointed teeth.Flowers are followed by brown, downy seed-pods.

Habitat - On the coast in dry, sandy soil, usually in the shelter of other vegetation.

Comments - The first record of this unusual Vetch is 1957, but it may have been here much longer. There are records from several parts of the island, but its headquarters remains in the L'Erée area, where it is found in several places. It has always been very rare, but in the last few years it seems to be increasing. Bithnia is part of Turkey.

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