Information on Bitter-vetch

Common Name: Bitter-vetch
Scientific Name: Lathyrus linifolius
Irish Name: Corra meille
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Bitter-vetch could sometimes be confused with:

Vetch, Common,

Previously known as Bitter Vetchling and Lathyrus montanus, this hairless, perennial wildflower is commonly found growing on dry, acid soils and heaths in most parts of Ireland, the exception being the centre. Reaching to 50 cm, its stems are markedly winged and it bears its little peaflowers in groups of two to six. Blooming from April to July, these flowers (1015 mm) start out a crimson-purple colour but as they age, they fade to a deep blue or green. The lanceolate leaves are in two to four opposite pairs, having no tendrils. This is a native plant and it belongs to the Fabaceae family.

I first recorded this plant near Roundwood, Co Wicklow in 1976 and I photographed it near Woodford, Co Galway in 2010.

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

Bitter-vetch
Bitter-vetch