Information on Common Vetch

Common Name: Common Vetch
Scientific Name: Vicia sativa ssp. segetalis
Irish Name: Peasair chapaill
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Common Vetch could sometimes be confused with:

Bitter-vetch,

Common Vetch is a sprawling, straggling annual of sandy, waste places and flowers from May to September.  Its pink-purple 18-30mm peaflowers are borne singly or in pairs on long stalks, Its leaflets in 3-8 pairs linear and narrow.  Its downy seedpods, which ripen to black, are 40-60mm long. There is also a subspecies, Vicia Nigra, whose flowers and seedpods are smaller, which grows throughout the country and is a native plant whereas Vicia Sativa is thought to be an introduction and does not have such a wide distribution.  This is a native plant and belongs to the family Fabaceae.

I first identified this plant growing in the Burren, Co Clare in 1979 and photographed it in Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford in 2005.  

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

Vetch, Common
Vetch, Common