Vicia sepium L. - Hedge vetch, bush vetch.

Taxonomic position.

Family Leguminosae Endl., genus Vicia L

Biology and morphology.

Perennial herb with scrambling and climbing growth habit. Plant is rhizomatous. Stems almost glabrous, sometimes with rare soft hairs, single, up to 30-40 cm tall, not branched. Leaves compound pinnate with 4-8 pairs of opposite leaflets. Leaf axis is ended by the well branched tendril. Leaflets 2,0-3,0 cm length, 8-10 mm width, elongated elliptical in form with broad base, emarginated at the top, glabrous at the both sides. Flower stalks are very short with 2-3 almost sessile flowers. Flowers 13-14 mm long, reddish-lilac or lilac-blue. Pods 30-40 mm long, 6-8 width, elongated, rhomboid, black in colour. Seeds are black or brown. Self-incompatible plant, cross-pollinated mainly by insects. Blossoms June-July, seeds ripening July-August. 2n = 14.


The European part of former USSR, Crimea, Caucasus, Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia.


Occurs in bushes, along wood edges, rivers and roads (especially railway roads), sometimes as ruderal, in mountains up to 2550 m a.s.l.

Utilization and economic value.

Perspective forage crop for meadows improvement for forest zone with enough humidity. Characterized by high seed productivity in unfavorable years. High nutritive value. Can by utilized for hay or silage, particularly arable silage, from perennial grasses/vetch mixtures.


Field Guide of Plants of Central Asia. 1981. Kamelin R. V., Kovalevskaya S. S., Nabiev M. M. (ed.). - Tashkent: FAN, Vol. VI1, - 396 p.
Flora of cultivated plants. Vicia. 1999. Repjev S. I. (ed.). - SPb.: VIR, Vol. IV, part 2 - 492 pp. (in Russin).
Flora of the European part of the USSR. 1987. Phyodorov A. A. (ed.). Vol. VI. - 254 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of Kazakhstan. 1961. Pavlov N. B. (ed.). - Alma - Ata: AN KazSSR, Vol. V. - 515 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of Siberia. 1994. Polozhiy A.B., Malyshev L.I., (ed.). - Novosibirsk: Nauka, Vol. 9. - 280 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of the USSR. Genus Vicia. 1948. Schischkin V.K., E.G. Bobrov (ed.). Vol. XIII, M.-L.: AN USSR , p. 406 - 475. (in Russian).
Flora of Central Siberia. 1979. Malyshev L.I., Peshkova G. A. (ed.). Novosibirsk: Nauka, Vol. II, 506 pp. (in Russian).
Galushko A. I. 1980. Flora of Northern Caucasus. A field guide. - Rostov - na - Donu:, Vol. 2. - 350 pp. (in Russian).
Grossheim A. A. 1952. Genus Vicia. Flora of the Caucasus. - M. - L.: Academy of Science of the USSR, Vol. V. - p. 380 - 398. (in Russian).
Hulten, Eric and Magnus Fries. 1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer.

© Dzyubenko N. I., Dzyubenko E. A.


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