Lathyrus sphaericus Retz. - Spring Vetchling.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fabaceae Lindl. genus Lathyrus L.

Morphology and biology.

Annual plant 50-75 cm tall, erect, branched from base, subglabrous, less often pubescent. Stipules semisagittate, almost as long as leaf rachis. Rachis of lower leaves ends with a cusp, that of upper leaves with a long unbranched tendril. Leaves consist of 1 pair of linear-lanceolate or linear leaflets 5-8 cm long, 1-6 mm wide, with 3-5 veins. Peduncles shorter than leaf rachis. Flowers solitary, 0.8-1 cm long, corolla brick-red. Calyx tubular-campanulate, narrowed toward base, all teeth equal in length, lanceolate, longer than tube. Standard narrowed into long unguis; wings on long narrow unguis; keel oblong, on long unguis. Pods narrow-linear, 3.5-6.5 cm long, 3-5 mm wide, slightly compressed. Valves convex, with lengthwise oblique venation. Seeds globose, compressed, 2-2.5 mm diameter, brown or olive-green, smooth. Flowers in April - May, fruits in June. 2n=14


General distribution: Caucasus, Central and Atlantic Europe, Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Iran, Himalayas region. Former USSR: Crimea - foothills, South Coast; Caucasus - all regions except for Talysh; Central Asia - mountain Turkmenistan, Pamir-Alai.


On exposed stony slopes, in juniper woodlands, weed in fields, at roadsides.

Use and economic value.



Galushko AI. 1980. Flora of the North Caucasus: Handbook. V.2. P.165. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1952. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.5. P.403. (In Russian).
Wulf EV., Maleyeva OF. 1969. The world resources of useful plants (food, forage, technical, medicine, etc.). Reference book. Leningrad: Nauka. P.232. (In Russian).
Fedorov AA., Tzvelev NN., eds. 1987. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V.6. Leningrad: Nauka. P.497-498. (In Russian).
Shishkin BK., Bobrov EG., ed. 1948. Flora URSS. V.13. P.492-493. (In Russian).
Cherepanov SK. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR). St.Petersburg. 990 p. (In Russian).

© T.N.Smekalova

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