1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Genus: Vicia L.
      1. Vicia sativa L.

        Vicia sativa is a widely grown forage crop, although outside cultivation it is often considered to be a weed. It belongs in the legume family, Leguminosae (also known as Fabaceae), and, like many other legumes, it has the ability to fix nitrogen from the air due to a symbiotic relationship with bacteria housed in root nodules. As a result, common vetch is high in protein.

    [FZ]

    Leguminosae, various authors. Flora Zambesiaca 3:7. 2003

    Habit
    Straggling or ascending annual herb up to 80 cm tall.
    Stem
    Stems angular, sparsely pubescent to subglabrous.
    Leaves
    Leaves 6–16-foliolate, lower ones 2–4-foliolate; leaflets 9–35 × 1–11(15) mm, linear to broadly oblong, oblong-obovate or obcordate, acute, obtuse, rounded or emarginate at the apex and usually mucronate or shortly cuspidate, usually cuneate at the base, sparsely pilose on both surfaces or glabrescent; petiole up to 8 mm long; rhachis usually terminating in a branched tendril; petiolules c. 0.5 mm long; stipules up to 8 mm long, semi-sagittate, entire or dentate, with a dark glandular median spot.
    Flowers
    Flowers 1–2 in the axils, subsessile or very shortly pedicellate.
    Calyx
    Calyx sparsely pubescent to subglabrous; tube 3.5–7 mm long, slightly asymmetrical at the base, the mouth not oblique; lobes subequal, equalling or shorter than the tube, linear-lanceolate.
    Corolla
    Corolla 10–30 mm long, light reddish-purple, bluish or mauve; standard 6–11 mm wide, obovate, emarginate; wings 2–3 mm shorter than the standard, the lamina equalling or exceeding the claw and oblong-obovate with a long auricle; keel ± two-thirds as long as the wings, the lamina broadly oblong, shorter than the claw.
    Style
    Style dorsally compressed, pubescent all round towards the apex and with a tuft of longer hairs below the apex on the lower edge.
    Fruits
    Pod narrowly oblong, 25–50 × 4–9 mm, brownish-black, pubescent to glabrous.
    Seeds
    Seeds 2.5–6 mm in diameter, subglobose, smooth.
    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description

    Vicia sativa is a widely grown forage crop, although outside cultivation it is often considered to be a weed. It belongs in the legume family, Leguminosae (also known as Fabaceae), and, like many other legumes, it has the ability to fix nitrogen from the air due to a symbiotic relationship with bacteria housed in root nodules. As a result, common vetch is high in protein.

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Common vetch is native to Southern Europe and is now cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, west and Central Asia, China, eastern Asia, India and the USA in many temperate, subtropical and tropical regions. 

    Description

    Overview: Vicia sativa is a scrambling annual herb growing up to 2 metres tall. Its stem is four-angled and sometimes hairy and can be branched, unbranched, climbing or decumbent (trailing along the ground). 

    Leaves: The leaves are composed of 3-8 pairs of opposite leaflet and a terminal 2-3 branched tendril that assists the climbing habit. 

    Flowers: The flowers, which are papilionaceous (resembling the garden pea flower) occur in the axils between the leaf stalk and the main stem and are single or in clusters of up to 3. The corolla ranges in colour from white to blue, red to pink-purple. 

    Fruit: The fruit is a sub-cylindrical pod up to 7 cm long and contains up to 12 seeds. The seeds are round and somewhat laterally flattened and are black to brownish in colour.

    Uses

    Common vetch is widely cultivated for its high quality forage (fresh, hay and silage) and grain for livestock. It is also a valuable cover crop and is used as green manure. 

    Crop wild relatives of common vetch

    The Millennium Seed Bank and the Global Crop Diversity Trust are engaged in a ten-year project, called 'Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change'. The project aims to protect, collect and prepare the wild relatives of 29 key food crops, including common vetch, so that they are available to pre-breeders for the development of new varieties that are more resilient to the effects of climate change.

    Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

    The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plants worldwide, focusing on those plants which are under threat and those which are of most use in the future. Once seeds have been collected they are dried, packaged and stored at -20°C in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank vault.

    Description of seeds: Average weight of 1,000 seeds = 38.6 g

    Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: Five

    Seed storage behaviour: Orthodox (the seeds of this plant can be dried to low moisture contents without significantly reducing their viability. This means they are suitable for long-term frozen storage)

    Germination testing: Successful

    This species at Kew

    Pressed and dried specimens of common vetch are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers by appointment. Details and images of some of these specimens can be seen online in Kew's Herbarium Catalogue.

    Distribution
    Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey
    Ecology
    Outside of cultivation, common vetch can be found growing as a weed in meadows, along roadsides and railroads and in wheat fields. Common vetch grows well in different soil types there is adequate drainage and a pH with a range between 5.5-8.2.
    Conservation
    Widespread in cultivation.
    [ILDIS]

    International Legume Database and Information Service

    Conservation
    Not Threatened
    Habit
    Annual/Perennial, Climbing/Not climbing, Herb
    Vernacular
    Acker-Wicke, Arveja, Arveja Comun, Chveulebrivi Tzertzvela, Common Vetch, Ekin Lerke, Ervilhaca, Fodervicker, Garoshak Pasyaouny, Goroshek Kormovoi, Goroshek Posevnoi, Goroshok Posivnyi, Lentille Sauvage, Mazariche, Pois France, Rehuvirna, Saat-Wicke, Sai
    [FTEA]

    Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

    Habit
    Straggling or ascending annual herb 10–70 cm. long.
    Stem
    Stems glabrescent to sparsely pubescent with short spreading hairs.
    Leaves
    Leaves (2–)4–12-foliolate; leaflets very variable in shape, linear, narrowly oblong or sometimes broadly obovate or obcordate, 0·3–4 cm. long, 0·2–1·5 cm. wide, acute, rounded or emarginate at the apex, usually apiculate or cuspidate, mostly cuneate at the base, thinly pilose on both surfaces or glabrescent; petiole short, usually less than 1 cm. long; rhachis of upper leaves with a well-developed branched tendril; petiolules only 0·5 mm. long but distinct; stipules semisagittate, 3–8 mm. long, 2–6 mm. wide, with a distinct dark glandular median blotch, margins toothed.
    Flowers
    Flowers solitary or paired, subsessile or very shortly pedicellate.
    Calyx
    Calyx glabrescent or sparsely pubescent; tube 3·5–7 mm. long; lobes linear-lanceolate, 3–8 mm. long, often with a glandular blotch.
    Corolla
    Corolla crimson, violet, bluish or sometimes white, the standard often palest; standard obovate, ovate or oblong, 0·7–2·5 cm. long, 0·8–1·7 cm. wide, emarginate.
    Fruits
    Pods narrowly oblong, compressed, 2·3–5·7 cm. long, (4–)5–8·5 mm. wide, pubescent or mostly glabrescent.
    Seeds
    Seeds usually dark brown, sometimes marbled, subglobose or slightly compressed, 2·5–5 mm. in diameter.
    [ILDIS]

    International Legume Database and Information Service

    Conservation
    Not Threatened
    Habit
    Annual, Climbing, Herb

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Albania, Altay, Assam, Austria, Baleares, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Central European Rus, Corse, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Gulf States, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., Lebanon-Syria, Magadan, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Romania, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Algeria, Amsterdam-St.Paul Is, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina South, Baltic States, Belarus, Bermuda, California, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Chatham Is., Chile Central, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Falkland Is., Finland, Free State, Føroyar, Haiti, Iceland, Illinois, Inner Mongolia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kermadec Is., KwaZulu-Natal, Libya, Madeira, Manchuria, Mexico Southwest, Morocco, Myanmar, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Northern Provinces, Norway, Queensland, Rwanda, South Australia, St.Helena, Svalbard, Sweden, Taiwan, Tasmania, Tennessee, Tunisia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, Western Australia, Xinjiang

    Common Names

    English
    Common vetch

    Vicia sativa L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Nov 5, 2015 Hoe, Wm. [1991.434], Hawaii K001134448
    Hinton, G.B. [396], Mexico K000118511
    Hinton, G.B. [2456], Mexico K000118512
    Hinton, G.B. [2456], Mexico K000118513
    Ross-Craig, S. [1753], United Kingdom 15720.000
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 5957], India K001122644
    Botteri, M. [696], Mexico K001294377
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 5957], Bangladesh K001122642
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 5957] K001122645
    Fagerlund, G.O. [446], Hawaii K001134446
    unknown [227], Canary Is. Vicia conspicua K000418316
    unknown [213] Vicia conspicua K000418317
    unknown [213] Vicia conspicua K000418319
    unknown [213] Vicia conspicua K000418321
    unknown [189], Canary Is. Vicia conspicua K000418322
    Webb [560], Madeira Vicia conspicua K000418318
    Moniz [958], Madeira Vicia conspicua K000418320

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 736 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Gilman, A.V. (2015). New flora of Vermont Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 110: 1-614.
    • Bailey, C. & al. (2015). Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee: 1-813. University of Tennessee press.
    • Lepschi, B. & Monro, A. (Project Coordinators) (2014). Australian Plant Census (APC) Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria. http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/index.html.
    • Jalilian, N., Rahiminejad, .R., Maassoumi, A.A. & Maroofi, H. (2014). Taxonomic revision of the genus Vicia L. (Fabaceae) in Iran Iranian Journal of Botany 20: 155-164.
    • Sikarwar, R.L.S. (2014). Angiosperm diversity assessment of Chitrakootthe legendary place of Vindhyan range, India Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 38: 563-619.
    • Shaheen, H., Qureshi, R., Akram, A., Gulfraz, M. & Potter, D. (2014). A preliminary floristic checklist of Thal desert Punjab, Pakistan Pakistn Journal of Botany 46: 13-18.
    • Cossu, T.A, Camarda, I. & Brundu, G. (2014). A catalogue of non-native weeds in irrigated crops in Sardinia (Italy) Webbia; Raccolta de Scritti Botanici 69: 145-156.
    • Mohlenbrock, R.H. (2014). Vascular Flora of Illinois. A Field Guide, ed. 4: 1-536. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.
    • Dimopoulos, P., Raus, T., Bergmeier, E., Constantinidis, T., Iatrou, G., Kokkini, S., Strid, A., & Tzanoudakis, D. (2013). Vascular plants of Greece. An annotated checklist: 1-372. Botanic gardens and botanical museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin and Hellenic botanical society, Athens.
    • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2012). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 4: 1-431. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
    • Kumar, S. (2012). Herbaceous flora of Jaunsar-Bawar (Uttarkhand), India: enumerations Phytotaxonomy 12: 33-56.
    • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
    • Garcia-Mendoza, A.J. & Meave, J.A. (eds.) (2012). Diversidad florística de Oaxaca: de musgos a angiospermas (colecciones y listas de especies), ed. 2: 1-351. Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
    • Lazkov, G.A. & Sultanova, B.A. (2011). Checklist of vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan Norrlinia 24: 1-166.
    • Kral, R., Diamond, A.R., Ginzbarg, S.L., Hansen, C.J., Haynes, R.R., Keener, B.R., Lelong, M.G., Spaulding, D.D. & Woods, M. (2011). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Alabama: 1-112. Botanical reseach institute of Texas.
    • Wu, Z. & Raven, P. (eds.) in Flora of China Editorial Committee (2010). Flora of China 10: 1-642. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).
    • Sarmah, K.K. & Borthakur, S.K. (2009). A checklist of angiospermic plants of Manas national park in Assam, India Pleione 3: 190-200.
    • Rodríguez, R., Grau, J., Baeza, C. & Davies, A. (2008). Lista comentada de las plantas vasculares de los Nevados de Chillan, Chile Gayana. Botánica 65: 153-197.
    • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
    • Ghazanfar, S.A. (2007). Flora of the Sultanate of Oman. volume 2. Crassulaceae - Apiaceae Scripta Botanica Belgica 36: 1-220.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Kumar, S. & Sane, P.V. (2003). Legumes of South Asia. A Checklist: 1-536. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Broughton, D.A. & McAdam, J.H. (2002). The non-native vascular flora of the Falkland islands Botanical Journal of Scotland 54: 153-190.
    • Jongbloed, M., Western, R.A. & Boer, B. (2000). Annotated Check-list for plants in the U.A.E.: 1-90. Zodiac Publishing, Dubai.
    • Boulos, L. (1999). Flora of Egypt 1: 1-419. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.
    • Jørgensen, P.M. & León-Yánes, S. (eds.) (1999). Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador: 1-1181. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
    • Isely, D. (1998). Native and Naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States: 1-1007. Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
    • Yakovlev, G.P., Sytin, A.K. & Roskov, Y.R. (1996). Legumes of Northern Eurasia. A checklist: 1-724. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Lock, J.M. & Heald, J. (1994). Legumes of Indo-China a checck-list: 1-164. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Greuter, W., Burdet, H.M. & Long, G. (eds.) (1989). Med-checklist 4: 1-458. Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève.
    • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Milgahid, A.M. (1989). Flora of Saudi Arabia, ed. 3, 2: 1-282. University Libraries, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
    • Webb, C.J., Sykes, W.R. & Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand 4: 1-1365. Botany division, D.S.I.R., Christchurch.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1983). Flora du Rwanda 2: 1-603. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Chrtková-Zertová, A., van der Maesen, L.J.G. & Rechinger, K.H. (1979). Papilionaceae I - Vicieae Flora Iranica 140: 1-89. Naturhistorisches Museums Wien.
    • Townsend, C.C. (1974). Flora of Iraq 3: 1-662. Ministry of Agriculture & Agrarian Reform, Baghdad.
    • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1968). Flora Europaea 2: 1-469. Cambridge University Press.

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    • Bailey, C. & al. (2015). Guide to the Vascular Plants of Tennessee: 1-813. University of Tennessee press.
    • Lepschi, B. & Monro, A. (Project Coordinators) (2014). Australian Plant Census (APC) Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria. http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/index.html.
    • Shaheen, H., Qureshi, R., Akram, A., Gulfraz, M. & Potter, D. (2014). A preliminary floristic checklist of Thal desert Punjab, Pakistan Pakistn Journal of Botany 46: 13-18.
    • Mohlenbrock, R.H. (2014). Vascular Flora of Illinois. A Field Guide, ed. 4: 1-536. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.
    • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2012). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 4: 1-431. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
    • Kumar, S. (2012). Herbaceous flora of Jaunsar-Bawar (Uttarkhand), India: enumerations Phytotaxonomy 12: 33-56.
    • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
    • Garcia-Mendoza, A.J. & Meave, J.A. (eds.) (2012). Diversidad florística de Oaxaca: de musgos a angiospermas (colecciones y listas de especies), ed. 2: 1-351. Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
    • Lazkov, G.A. & Sultanova, B.A. (2011). Checklist of vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan Norrlinia 24: 1-166.
    • Kral, R., Diamond, A.R., Ginzbarg, S.L., Hansen, C.J., Haynes, R.R., Keener, B.R., Lelong, M.G., Spaulding, D.D. & Woods, M. (2011). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Alabama: 1-112. Botanical reseach institute of Texas.
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    • Sarmah, K.K. & Borthakur, S.K. (2009). A checklist of angiospermic plants of Manas national park in Assam, India Pleione 3: 190-200.
    • Rodríguez, R., Grau, J., Baeza, C. & Davies, A. (2008). Lista comentada de las plantas vasculares de los Nevados de Chillan, Chile Gayana. Botánica 65: 153-197.
    • Zuloaga, F.O., Morrone, O. , Belgrano, M.J., Marticorena, C. & Marchesi, E. (eds.) (2008). Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 107: 1-3348. Missouri Botanical Garden.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Hokche, O., Berry, P.E. & Huber, O. (eds.) (2008). Nuevo Catálogo de la Flora Vascular de Venezuela: 1-859. Fundación Instituto Botánico de Venezuela.
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    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Kumar, S. & Sane, P.V. (2003). Legumes of South Asia. A Checklist: 1-536. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Broughton, D.A. & McAdam, J.H. (2002). The non-native vascular flora of the Falkland islands Botanical Journal of Scotland 54: 153-190.
    • Jongbloed, M., Western, R.A. & Boer, B. (2000). Annotated Check-list for plants in the U.A.E.: 1-90. Zodiac Publishing, Dubai.
    • Boulos, L. (1999). Flora of Egypt 1: 1-419. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.
    • Jørgensen, P.M. & León-Yánes, S. (eds.) (1999). Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador: 1-1181. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
    • Isely, D. (1998). Native and Naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States: 1-1007. Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
    • Yakovlev, G.P., Sytin, A.K. & Roskov, Y.R. (1996). Legumes of Northern Eurasia. A checklist: 1-724. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Lock, J.M. & Heald, J. (1994). Legumes of Indo-China a checck-list: 1-164. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1993). Flora Europaea ed. 2, 1: 1-581. Cambridge University Press.
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    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

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    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    International Legume Database and Information Service
    International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS) V10.39 Nov 2011
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

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    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2018. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Legumes of the World Online
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/