Bona serratifolia (Jacq.) Stank.
Vicia narbonensis serratifolia (Jacq.) Arcang.
Vicia serratifolia is an erect annual plant with stems that sometimes branch from near the base; it can grow 40 - 75cm tall[
The seed are occasionally harvested from the wild for local use as a food, especially in times of food shortage, and have potential as a future food plant[
Vicia serratifolia is a widespread species that favours disturbed habitats. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2016)[
Europe - southern Germany to Portugal, east to Romania and Bulgaria; W. Asia - Turkey, Caucasus, Levant; N. Africa - Algeria
Meadows and moist places, mostly along river valleys[
]. Disturbed agricultural land and more rarely in open woodlands; at elevations up to 1,100 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position if the soil is reliably moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is 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 seeds are a potential food, and have at times of famine been used as an extender with cereals[
]. 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[
Vicia serratifolia Jacq. is a secondary genetic relative of Narbon Bean V. narbonensis L. and a tertiary genetic relative of Faba Bean V. faba L. (Maxted 1995). As a result, it has the potential for use as a gene donor for crop improvement[
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.