Information on Tufted Vetch

Common Name: Tufted Vetch
Scientific Name: Vicia cracca
Irish Name: Peasair na luch
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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


From June to the end of August, Tufted Vetch is a most attractive part of our hedgerows.  Like Bush Vetch, it uses long branched tendrils to help it climb and scramble through scrub, grassy places and embankments.  It is a silky plant with bright blue-purple peaflowers (8-12mm) which grow in one-sided 8cm long spikes. The leaves comprise 8 - 12 pairs of narrow, oblong, pointed leaflets. Tufted Vetch's brown seedpods are hairless and contain 6-8 seeds.This is a native plant and belongs to the family Fabaceae.  

I first identified this beautiful flower in Killiney, Co Dublin and photographed it in Ballytore, Co Kildare (2000) and Tullycanna, Co Wexford in 2004.  

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

Vetch, Tufted
Vetch, Tufted

For centuries Tufted Vetch provided fodder for cattle. Plants of the Legume family, such as Gorse, Pea etc. attract bacteria to their roots and this has been proven to transform nitrogen from the air into nitrogenous compounds that enrich the soil. These plants are also favourite feeding places for bees and other insects.