Cracca tenuifolia (Roth) Godr. & Gren.
Vicia antiqua Grossh.
Vicia asiatica (Freyn) Grossh.
Vicia boissieri Freyn
Vicia brachytropis Kar. & Kir.
Vicia cracca atroviolacea (Bornm.) P.H.Davis
Vicia cracca stenophylla P.H.Davis & Plitmann
Vicia cracca tenuifolia (Roth) Gaudin
Vicia dalmatica A.Kern.
Vicia heracleotica Juz.
Vicia stenophylla (Boiss.) Velen.
Vicia variabilis Freyn & Sint.
Common Name: Fine-Leaved Vetch
Vicia tenuifolia is a herbaceous perennial plant with rather robust, erect or ascending stems growing up to 100cm tall. The plant often scrambles into the surrounding vegetation, attaching itself by means of tendrils[
The plant is occasionally been harvested from the wild, especially in times of famine, for local use as a food. It has potential as a future food crop.
Vicia tenuifolia has a wide distribution, the population is believed to be stable at present and there are no major threats at present. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2012)[
Eurasia - Sweden to Portufal, east to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, China, Korea, Afghanistan, Nepal, Turkey, Levant; N. Africa - Morocco, Algeria
Mediterranean forest, grasslands and slopes, usually on sandstone and light red soils with free drainage[
]. Dry meadows, herbaceous grassy steppes, fallow fields, slopes and dry forests[
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[
]. No more details are given, it is likely to be either the young shoots or the seeds that are used[
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[
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.