Vicia biebersteinii M.Bieb.
Vicia grandiflora kitaibeliana W.D.J.Koch
Vicia kitaibeliana (W.D.J.Koch) Stank.
Vicia sordida Waldst. & Kit.
Vicia grandiflora is an annual to biennial plant growing 25 - 80cm tall; the ascending stems are often branched from the base, they often cling to the surrounding vegetation, attaching themselves by means of tendrils[
The plant is harveted from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown in the eastern USA as a winter annual for green manuring and as pasture crop and is recommended also in other countries[
Eurasia - Czech Republic to Italy, east to the Caucasus, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Iran
Shrubby formations, fields, herbaceous glades, rarely forests, mountains; at elevations up to 1,800 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Species in this genus generally succeed in any well-drained soil in a sunny position if the soil is reliably moist throughout the growing season, otherwise they are best grown in semi-shade[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The leaves of some cultivars can be eaten as a vegetable[
]. The cultivar 'Woodford' makes a good salad plant, the leaves are mild like lettuce, without the grassiness of raw clover or the bitterness of many other leaves[
Seed - sow in situ in spring or autumn. The seed has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.