Kidney Vetch is an extremely variable semi-prostrate perennial, sometimes bearing yellow flowers, sometimes orange, red, purple or white. These 12-15mm peaflowers are borne in round heads, each little flower being bedded into a woolly, hairy cushion and a leafy, divided bract below it. The leaves comprise pairs of 7-13 narrow leaflets, the terminal leaflet being the largest. This plant is commonly found by the sea and flowers from June to September. It is one of the principal larval foodplants of the Small Blue Butterfly. A native plant, it belongs to the family Fabaceae.
I first identified this plant growing along the banks at Killiney Strand, Co Dublin and I photographed it at Bannow Bay, Co Wexford in 2000.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre