Vetchling, Meadow

Information on Meadow Vetchling

Common Name: Meadow Vetchling
Scientific Name: Lathyrus pratensis
Irish Name: Peasairín buí
Family Group: Fabaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Meadow Vetchling is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Straggling, hairless stems and deep yellow peaflowers, distinguish this perennial from other members of the Lathyrus genus.  Extremely common in damp meadows, ditches and hedgerows throughout Ireland, this plant has yellow flowers (10-15mm long) which are borne in racemes of between 4 and 12 from May to August. The angular stems bear a single pair, occasionally two pairs, of grey-green lanceolate leaves and at the centre of these pairs is a branched tendril and large stipules. The twining tendrils help the plant to hold on to whatever is supporting it.  The fruit pod (20-25mm long) is hairless, containing 4-8 seeds and blackens on ripening.  This is a principal larval foodplant of the Wood White Butterfly (Leptidea reali)  and is a native plant which belongs to the family Fabaceae.  

I first identified this plant at Rath, Co Kerry in 1977 and I photographed it at Cullenstown, Co Wexford in 2007.  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Also known as Pis bhuidhe and Meadow Pea, this plant was once grown for animal fodder.  In common with other members of the species, this wildflower has the ability to form nodules in its roots which help to fix nitrogen into the soil.  

Vetchling, Meadow
Vetchling, Meadow
Vetchling, Meadow