Ervum pisiforme (L.) Peterm.
Vicia ochroleuca Gilib.
Common Name: Pea Vetch
Vicia pisiformis is a herbaceous perennial climbing plant with stems up to 200cm long that scramble over the ground, climbing into the surrounding vegetation where they attach themselves by means of tendrils[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is said to have been a cultivated crop in France, though the record does not say if this was for the seed or leaves[
Given its wide distribution across Europe, Vicia pisiformis does not qualify for a global threatened rating. However, it has been listed as threatened in countries at the limits of its range because of a continuing population decline. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2012)[
Europe - Norway to France, east to eastern European Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria; W. Asia - Ciscaucasia
Forests, mainly broad-leaved, in Scandinavia and eastwards to Asia[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
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[
Seed - cooked[
]. Used like lentils[
Used as a vegetable[
]. No more details are given.
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.