Vicia basilei Sennen & Mauricio
Common Name: Bush Vetch
Flowers of a plant at Kerava, Finland
Photograph by: Anneli Salo
Vicia sepium is a herbaceous perennial plant with long stolons; It produces a clump of erect stems around 30 - 100cm tall, these stems are unbranched or more or less branching at the base, they have tendrils and sometimes cling to other plants for support[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Eurasia - Norway to Portugal, east to eastern Sieria, Mongolia China, central Asia and Turkey
Grassy places, hedges and thickets, avoiding acid soils[
]. Shrubby formations and meadows, mainly forests, rarely as weeds. In mountains at elevations up to 2,550 metres[
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[
Seed - cooked[
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.