Information on Hairy Tare

Common Name: Hairy Tare
Scientific Name: Vicia hirsuta
Irish Name: Peasair arbhair
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Hairy Tare is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This little weak-stemmed annual plant scrambles over other vegetation, often on arable land. It has really tiny little peaflowers, only 2-4mm long, which are pale lilac in colour and which are in groups of 1 9 in a loose group. Its pinnately divided leaves comprise 4-10 pairs of leaflets and end in branched tendrils which cling to other plants over which it clambers. It flowers from May to August. Its seed pods, which are covered in fine hairs, contain 2 seeds. This is a native plant which belongs to the family Fabaceae.

I first came across this plant in 1978 near the sea at Castlecove in Co Kerry and I photographed it at Ladies Island Lake in Co Wexford in 2007.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Tare, Hairy
Tare, Hairy

This plant was cultivated throughout centuries as a forage and cover crop. It was also considered to be a persistent weed among arable crops.

In the New Testament, Matthew Chapter 13, 'tare' occurs as follows: '.. tares are the children of the wicked one'.

The noun 'tare' is defined as 'A troublesome weed thought to be the darnel'. The noun 'darnel' is defined as grasses that grow in grainfields throughout Europe and Asia.