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Bithynian Vetch

Vicia bithynica

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, 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, Smooth Tare, 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:
50 centimetres tall
Grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, rocky places, scrub, seaside.

Purple, 5 petals
The pea-like flowers are purple with creamy-white wings and keel. Bithynian Vetch is similar in appearance to Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis) but with a purple and white flower.
The fruit is a yellowish-brown, hairy pod ending in an abrupt beak. The pods measure between 2.5 and 5cm long.
A scrambling annual flower most commonly found in grassy places. The leaves are comprised of 2 to 3 pairs of broadly oval leaflets. At the end of each leaf is a branched tendril. The leaves have large stipules.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Vicia bithynica is a species of flowering plant in the pea family (Fabaceae). It is native to Turkey and is known for its small, purple flowers and short, flattened pods. The plant can be found in a variety of habitats including rocky areas, grasslands, and along roadsides. Vicia bithynica is a small annual plant, it can reach a height of 30-50 cm. It is considered as a weed in some places. This species is not widely cultivated, but it has been considered as a potential forage crop for livestock due to its high protein content.


Bithynian Vetch (Vicia bithynica) is a species of flowering plant in the pea family (Fabaceae) native to Turkey and the surrounding regions. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 60 cm tall and has a spreading habit, making it suitable for use as a ground cover or as a cover crop.

One of the notable features of Bithynian Vetch is its delicate, purple-blue flowers that bloom in clusters on long spikes. These flowers not only provide a beautiful display of color, but they also attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

In terms of horticulture, Bithynian Vetch is highly valued for its fast growth and its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. This makes it an excellent choice for use in crop rotation, as it helps to enrich the soil and improve soil health, thus promoting the growth of other plants.

In terms of its cultural uses, Bithynian Vetch has a long history of use in traditional Turkish medicine for its medicinal properties. The leaves and stems of the plant have been used to treat various ailments, such as digestive problems and skin conditions.

When growing Bithynian Vetch, it is important to plant it in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. It also prefers full sun or partial shade and is drought-tolerant, making it an ideal choice for gardeners in areas with hot, dry summers.

Bithynian Vetch is a versatile and attractive plant that can be used in a variety of ways, from ornamental purposes to soil improvement and traditional medicine. Whether you are looking to add color to your garden, improve soil health, or incorporate traditional medicinal remedies into your life, Bithynian Vetch is an excellent choice.

Bithynian Vetch can be propagated by seed or by cuttings. If planting from seed, it is important to sow the seeds in the spring or autumn, as the seeds require a period of cold stratification to germinate. Once established, Bithynian Vetch is relatively low maintenance and requires little care.

In terms of pests and diseases, Bithynian Vetch is relatively resistant to most common problems, although it may be susceptible to aphids and other sucking insects. To control these pests, it is recommended to remove any infected leaves and to use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.

In terms of its uses in landscaping, Bithynian Vetch can be used in a variety of ways, including in rock gardens, as a ground cover, or as an accent plant in mixed borders. It also makes an excellent addition to wildflower gardens, where it will attract pollinators and add a splash of color.

In conclusion, Bithynian Vetch is a versatile and attractive plant that offers many benefits to gardeners and landscapers. Whether you are looking to add color to your garden, improve soil health, or incorporate traditional medicinal remedies into your life, Bithynian Vetch is an excellent choice that is easy to grow and maintain.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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