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Smooth Tare

Vicia tetrasperma

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Fabaceae (Pea)
Also in this family:
Alpine Milk-vetch, Alsike Clover, Birdsfoot, Birdsfoot Clover, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Bithynian Vetch, Bitter Vetch, Black Broom, Black Medick, Bladder Senna, Broad Bean, Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea, Bur Medick, Burrowing Clover, Bush Vetch, Clustered Clover, Common Broom, Common Gorse, Common Laburnum, Common Restharrow, Common Vetch, Crimson Clover, Crown Vetch, Dragon's Teeth, Dwarf Gorse, Dyer's Greenweed, False Acacia, Fine-leaved Vetch, Fodder Vetch, Garden Lupin, Garden Pea, Goat's Rue, Grass Vetchling, Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil, Hairy Greenweed, Hairy Tare, Hairy Vetchling, Hairy-fruited Broom, Haresfoot Clover, Hop Trefoil, Horseshoe Vetch, Hungarian Vetch, Kidney Vetch, Knotted Clover, Large Trefoil, Lesser Trefoil, Lucerne, Marsh Pea, Meadow Vetchling, Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot Trefoil, Narrow-leaved Everlasting Pea, Narrow-leaved Vetch, Nootka Lupin, Norfolk Everlasting Pea, Orange Birdsfoot, Petty Whin, Purple Milk-vetch, Purple Oxytropis, Red Clover, Reversed Clover, Ribbed Melilot, Rough Clover, Russell Lupin, Sainfoin, Scorpion Senna, Scottish Laburnum, Sea Clover, Sea Pea, Sickle Medick, Slender Bird's-foot Trefoil, Slender Tare, Slender Trefoil, Small Melilot, Small Restharrow, Spanish Broom, Spanish Gorse, Spiny Restharrow, Spotted Medick, Spring Vetch, Strawberry Clover, Suffocated Clover, Sulphur Clover, Tall Melilot, Toothed Medick, Tree Lupin, Tuberous Pea, Tufted Vetch, Twin-headed Clover, Two-flowered Everlasting Pea, Upright Clover, Upright Vetch, Western Clover, Western Gorse, White Broom, White Clover, White Lupin, White Melilot, Wild Liquorice, Wood Vetch, Yellow Oxytropis, Yellow Vetch, Yellow Vetchling, Zigzag Clover
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland.

Purple, 5 petals
Smooth Tare is very similar in appearance to Hairy Tare and is often difficult to tell apart. The flowers are larger and paler than Hairy Tare. Flowers are either solitary or in pairs.
Brown hairy pods, up to 15mm in length. The pods normally contain 4 seeds. The similar looking Hairy Tare has black pods, not brown.
A climbing annual with 3 to 6 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are longer than those of Hairy Tare and its tendrils are unbranched. Hairy Tare has got branched tendrils.
Other Names:
Four-seeded Slender Vetch, Four-seeded Vetch, Lentil Vetch, Slender Vetch, Smooth Vetch, Sparrow Vetch.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Vicia tetrasperma, also known as four-seeded vetch, is a species of legume that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is a annual vine that can grow up to 1-2 meter long. It has small, pea-like flowers that are typically blue or purple in color. The leaves are pinnately compound, and the plant has small, stiff hairs. It is adapted to grow in a wide range of soil types and climates. It is a nitrogen-fixing plant, and it can be used as a cover crop or a forage crop for livestock. It can also be used as a green manure to improve soil fertility. It is considered as an invasive species in some regions, and it can be difficult to control once established.


Smooth Tare: A Nutritious and Tasty Addition to Your Diet

Vicia tetrasperma, also known as smooth tare, is a legume that is native to the Mediterranean region but is now widely cultivated in many other parts of the world. This plant is grown both for its edible seeds and for its forage, as it is a nutritious food source for livestock. In this blog post, we'll discuss the benefits of smooth tare, its nutritional value, and how to incorporate it into your diet.

Health Benefits of Smooth Tare

Smooth tare is a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is especially high in fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health and can help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels. Smooth tare also contains essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids are essential for growth, development, and repair of the body's tissues.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, smooth tare is also low in fat and calories, making it a great choice for those who are looking to maintain a healthy weight. It is also gluten-free, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities.

Nutritional Value of Smooth Tare

Smooth tare is a nutritious food that provides a wide range of essential nutrients. It is high in protein, providing about 12 grams per 100 grams of cooked tare. It is also a good source of fiber, with about 6 grams per 100 grams of cooked tare. Smooth tare also contains a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, and magnesium.

How to Incorporate Smooth Tare into Your Diet

Smooth tare can be easily incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. It can be used in place of other legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas, in recipes like stews, soups, and salads. Smooth tare can also be used as a base for vegetarian dishes, as it provides a rich, nutty flavor and a satisfying texture.

Another way to enjoy smooth tare is to sprout the seeds and add them to your salads and sandwiches. Sprouting the seeds increases their nutritional value and makes them easier to digest. Smooth tare can also be ground into flour, which can be used in a variety of baked goods, including bread, cakes, and cookies.

Smooth tare is a nutritious and delicious legume that should be a staple in your diet. It is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and is low in fat and calories.

Cultivation and Harvesting of Smooth Tare

Smooth tare is a hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of soils and climates. It is typically sown in spring and harvested in the late summer or early fall. The plant grows to a height of about 1-2 meters and produces pods that contain 4-6 seeds. The seeds are oval-shaped and can be light green, brown, or black in color.

When harvesting smooth tare, the pods should be harvested when they are fully mature and dry. The seeds can then be removed from the pods and stored in a cool, dry place. It is important to store smooth tare seeds properly, as they can become rancid if exposed to moisture or heat.

Smooth tare is also a valuable forage crop for livestock, as it provides a high-quality source of protein and fiber. The plant can be grazed by livestock, or the seeds can be fed to them as a supplement.

In recent years, there has been increased interest in the cultivation of smooth tare as a food crop, due to its high nutritional value and its ability to grow in a variety of soils and climates. It is a promising crop for sustainable agriculture, as it is hardy, requires minimal inputs, and can help to improve soil health by fixing nitrogen.

Smooth tare is a nutritious, tasty, and versatile legume that is a great addition to any diet. It is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and is low in fat and calories. It is also easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes, and can be used as a base for vegetarian dishes, as a sprouted ingredient, or as a flour in baked goods.

Cooking with Smooth Tare

Smooth tare is a versatile legume that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture that makes it a great addition to soups, stews, and salads. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:

  1. Smooth Tare Soup: Cook smooth tare in a vegetable broth with garlic, onion, and your favorite herbs and spices. Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread for a filling and nutritious meal.

  2. Smooth Tare Salad: Mix cooked smooth tare with chopped vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, and dress with a vinaigrette. This is a great dish to serve as a main course or as a side dish.

  3. Smooth Tare and Vegetable Stew: Cook smooth tare with your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, and green beans, in a tomato-based sauce. Serve over a bed of rice or with crusty bread.

  4. Smooth Tare Burgers: Mix cooked smooth tare with breadcrumbs, egg, and herbs, then form into patties. Fry or bake until golden brown and serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

  5. Smooth Tare Flour: Grind dried smooth tare seeds into flour, and use it in place of wheat flour in your favorite baked goods recipes. Smooth tare flour has a nutty flavor and a slightly coarser texture than wheat flour.

These are just a few recipe ideas to get you started with cooking with smooth tare. The possibilities are endless, so be creative and have fun!

In conclusion, smooth tare is a nutritious, delicious, and versatile legume that is well worth exploring. With its high nutritional value, ease of cultivation, and versatility in the kitchen, smooth tare is a valuable addition to any diet. So why not give it a try today and see for yourself why this ancient legume is still so highly prized today?

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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