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Useful Temperate Plants

Vicia lutea

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Hypechusa lutea (L.) Alef.

Vicia cavanillesii Martinez

Vicia ciliata Schur

Vicia hirta Pers.

Vicia lineata M.Bieb.

Vicia vestita Boiss.

Common Name: Yellow Vetch

Vicia lutea
Drawing of the plant
Photograph by: Kops et al., J., Flora Batava, vol. 23: t. 1821 (1911)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Vicia lutea is a tufted, prostrate annual plant with stems 10 - 45cm long.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.

Range

Europe - Britain to Portugal, east to Romania and Bulgaria; W. Asia - Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran, Levant; N. Africa - Macaronesia, Morocco to Egypt

Habitat

Cliffs and shingle near the sea[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.30 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


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[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

The seeds are a potential food, and have at times of famine been used as an extender with cereals[
1128
Title
Revision of Vicia L. (Leguminosae) in Central Anatolia, Turkey.
Publication
 
Author
Okan Kaan Binzat
Website
http://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12615083/index.pdf
Publisher
 
Year
2012
ISBN
 
Description
A thesis submitted to the Graduate School of Natural and Allpied Sciences of Middle east Technical University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
]. They are rich in protein and carbohydrates, but are best soaked before use (the soakwater being discarded) in order to get rid of a bitter substance[
1128
Title
Revision of Vicia L. (Leguminosae) in Central Anatolia, Turkey.
Publication
 
Author
Okan Kaan Binzat
Website
http://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12615083/index.pdf
Publisher
 
Year
2012
ISBN
 
Description
A thesis submitted to the Graduate School of Natural and Allpied Sciences of Middle east Technical University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

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.

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