Bird vetch Vicia cracca, photographed by Bogdan.

Belongs within: Fabeae.

Vicia, the vetches, is a genus of about 160 species of herbaceous legumes found in the northern temperate zone and South America. The broad bean Vicia faba is cultivated for food. This and other species are also grown as fodder for livestock and as a source of nitrogen for soils. Vicia faba is an erect plant lacking tendrils whereas many other species are sprawlers or climbers (Hickman 1993).

Characters (from Bao & Turland): Herbs annual or perennial. Stem usually branched, erect, trailing, or climbing by means of tendrils, usually slender, wingless. Leaves paripinnate with rachis terminating in a tendril, bristle, or mucro, rarely imparipinnate with rachis terminating in a leaflet; stipules entire or toothed at margin; leaflets 1-13-paired, margin entire. Inflorescence a raceme, or flowers in axillary fascicles or solitary; bracts usually absent or caducous. Calyx more or less campanulate, equally or unequally toothed, often hairy; teeth not leaflike, at least 2 teeth less than 2 times as long as tube. Corolla various shades of blue, purple, red, yellow, or white; standard with a proximal claw and distal limb, apex retuse. Stamens diadelphous; staminal tube oblique at apex; filaments filiform. Ovary stalked or subsessile; ovules 2-8; style terete, hairy all round distal part, hairy on lower side, or glabrous. Legume usually compressed, dehis­cent along sutures. Seeds 2-8, globose, oblate, or oblong; hilum often elongate.

    `--V. sect. Cracca ED98
         |--V. erzurumica Erik & Demirkuş 1998 ED98
         `--V. glareosa ED98

Vicia incertae sedis:
  V. americana (see below for synonymy) H93
  V. amphicarpa D37
  V. articulata LR-S01
  V. benghalensis LR-S01
  V. cracca BO08
  V. cretica PT98
  V. cuspidata PT98
  V. darapskyana D03
  V. desciacarpus B15
  V. disperma H93
  V. dumetorum H97
  V. ervillia LR-S01
  V. faba Linnaeus 1753 CD07 [=Faba vulgaris C55b]
  V. gemella C06
  V. gigantea H93
  V. gracilis C06
  V. grandiflora H91
  V. hassei [=V. exigua var. hassei] H93
  V. hirsuta H59
  V. hybrida PT98
  V. lathyroides PT98
  V. ludoviciana [incl. V. exigua] H93
  V. lutea H91
  V. narbonensis LR-S01
  V. palaestina PT98
  V. pannonica H93
  V. parviflora PT98
  V. patagonica D03
  V. peregrina PT98
  V. pubescens PT98
  V. sativa LR-S01
    |--V. s. ssp. sativa Y98
    |--V. s. ssp. incisa [incl. V. pimpinelloides] Y98
    `--V. s. ssp. nigra [incl. V. angustifolia] H93
  V. sylvatica C55a
  V. tenuifolia H91
  V. tetrasperma PT98
  V. villosa LR-S01
    |--V. v. ssp. villosa PT98
    |--V. v. ssp. microphylla PT98
    `--V. v. ssp. varia [incl. V. dasycarpa] H93

Vicia americana [incl. V. californica, V. americana var. linearis, V. americana ssp. oregana, V. americana var. truncata] H93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B15] Benjamin, M. S. 1915. A note on the occurrence of urease in legume nodules and other plant parts. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 49 (1): 78–80.

[BO08] Bönsel, D., I. Ottich, A. Malten & G. Zizka. 2008. An updated list of the vascular plants of Frankfurt am Main (Pteridophyta & Spermatophyta). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 111–121.

[C55a] Candolle, A. de. 1855a. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 1. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C55b] Candolle, A. de. 1855b. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[CD07] Cantino, P. D., J. A. Doyle, S. W. Graham, W. S. Judd, R. G. Olmstead, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis & M. J. Donoghue. 2007. Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta. Taxon 56 (3): E1–E44.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[D37] Dobzhansky, T. 1937. Genetics and the Origin of Species. Columbia University Press: New York.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[ED98] Erik, S., & N. Demirkuş. 1998. New species from NE Turkey: Chaerophyllum posofianum (Apiaceae) and Vicia erzurumica (Fabaceae). Willdenowia 28: 151–156.

[H97] Hauy, C. 1797. Sur la conservation de la couleur des fleurs dessêchées. Bulletin des Sciences, par la Societé Philomathique de Paris 1 (6): 46.

[H59] Healy, A. J. 1959. Contributions to a knowledge of the adventive flora of New Zealand, no. 7. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 86 (1): 113–118.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[H91] Hubálek, Z. 1991. Biogeographic indication of natural foci of tick-borne infections. In: Dusbábek, F., & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 1 pp. 255–260. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[LR-S01] Liu, A., & T. J. Ridsdill-Smith. 2001. Comparison of feeding damage by redlegged earth mite Halotydeus destructor (Tucker) (Acari: Penthaleidae) to different grain legume species as an indicator of potentially resistant lines. In: Halliday, R. B., D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff (eds) Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress pp. 295–299. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

[Y98] Yannitsaros, A. 1998. Additions to the flora of Kithira (Greece) I. Willdenowia 28: 77–94.

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