Vicia sepium L.

1861 (17). V. sepium L., Sp. Pl., ed. 1 (1753) 737; Hayek, Prodr. FL Penins. Balc. I (1926) 799; Ball, Fl. Eur. II (1968) 134 —Горска глушина

Fam:  Leguminose Juss. (Fabaceae)
Genus:  Vicia L.
Species: Vicia sepium L.
English Name: Bush vetch


A perennial plant. Stem 30.0 to 60.0 (100.0) cm high, with long underground shoots, upright or ascending, simple or branched at the base, polygonal longitudinal ribs 3.0 - 4.0 mm thick, naked or Short fiber. Double feather-like leaves, on top with long branched tendril. Sheets 3 - 9 pairs, subsessile or on 0.4 - 0.5mm long fibrous stalks, ovate to elongated ovoid, elliptical, extended elliptical or narrowly lanceolate, short pointed to prolonged or cut to cut, short-bearded, green on both surfaces, especially on the edge absently short fibrous or naked, entire, 7.0 - 30.0 mm long and 4.0 - 14.0 mm wide. Stipule 5.0 - 8.0 mm long, the same, splitted, egg-shaped upper share, extended with needlepoint, the edges are smooth, round dark spot, lower - fan-deep jagged or shared, mostly short fibrous edge. Blossoms 2 - 6 in short racemes, cluster attached to the leaf axils along the length of the stem, shorter than axillary leaf. Blossom handles up to 2.0 mm long, densely short fiber. Calyx to 10.0 mm long, bell-shaped, short or long fiber to naked, obliquely cut; linear triangular teeth, shorter than the tube, uneven each other, the upper shorter than the lower. Corolla 12.0 - 15.0 mm in length. Flag 10.0 - 14.0 mm wide, extended ovoid back, on top slightly incised, the middle gradually narrowed in wide nail during flowering tucked up, a little longer than wings, pale yellowish blue or violet. with dark streaks, naked. Ovate wings back, at the base with elliptical rhombic appendage, narrowed into long thin nails; clearly longer than the keel, violet or greenish blue, naked. Elliptical keel at the base with long nails, purple or yellowish blue, naked. Long beans, 2.0 - 3.5 cm long and 5.0 - 8.0 mm wide, tucked atop tapered, elliptical elliptic cylindrical to slightly flattened, black, almost naked (immature more or less fibrous) with 3 - 7 seeds. Seeds 5.0 mm in diameter, lenticular spherical, green to brown, finely spotted black, smooth; scar of 3/4 - 1/2 of the circumference of the seed.


var. sepium; V. sepium var. vulgaris Gaud., Fl. Helv. IV (1829) 518. Leaflets ovate to elongated ovoid, the top cut. Calyx short fiber to almost naked. Fore, Stara Planina, Vitosha Region, Znepole area West Frontier Mountains, Pirin, Rila Average forest, Rhodopes mountains.
It was also for: Northeastern Bulgaria (Provadia - Urum., 1904), Danubian Plain (Knezsha, Byala Slatina - Urum., 1935).
var. montana Koch, Syn. ed. 1 (1835) 196.  Leaflets extended ovate to lanceolate, extended sharp. Calyx short fiber. Central Stara Planina (Bouzloudja), Vitosha, Slavyanka, Pirin, Rila Mountains (Borovets) Rhodopes (Beglika), Tundzha Hilly Plain (St. Iliysko Heights).
var. eriocalyx Čelak, Prodr. (1881) 910. Leaflets Lance extended, extended peaked. Calyx long fiber. Fore (p. Karash, Vratsa), Central Stara Planina (Troyan).

Economic significance. Excellent fodder, honey.

„Флора на НР България”, том VI, БАН, София, (1976)

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Vicia sepium or bush vetch is a plant species of the genus Vicia. A nitrogen-fixing, perennial, leguminous climbing plant that grows in hedgerows, grasslands, the edges of woodland, roadsides and rough ground. Occurs in western Europe, Russia including Siberia, Crimea, Caucasus and Central Asia. Also eastern Canada, north-eastern states of the USA and, where suitable habitat occurs, in Greenland. Found throughout England and eastern parts of Wales.


A rhizomatous plant. Its climbing habit is enabled by branched tendrils at the end of each leaf stem, which curl around surrounding plants. The stems are not branched, are almost glabrous, sometimes with rare soft hairs, single, mostly 30 to 40 cm long but sometimes as much as 100 cm. The leaves are compound and pinnate with 4 to 8 pairs of opposite leaflets ending in branched tendrils.[1] Leaflets are 20 to 30 mm long, 8 to 10 mm wide, elongated elliptical in form with broad bases and glabrous at both sides. Flower stalks are very short with 2 to 6 almost sessile flowers on each. Flowers are 12 to 15 mm long,[2] reddish-lilac or lilac-blue. Similar in appearance to common vetch (Vicia sativa) but each stem of the latter has more flowers, and bush vetch is usually hairless whereas V. sativa is slightly hairy.
Flowers between May to August, occasionally into November. Mainly cross pollinated by insects. The resultant pods or legumes ripen mainly during July to August, are 30 to 40 mm long, 6 to 8 mm wide, elongated, rhomboid and black in colour. The seeds within are black or brown.
A good potential forage crop with high nutritional value, characterized by high seed productivity in less favourable years. Can by used for hay or silage, particularly arable silage, from perennial grass-vetch mixtures.
Bush vetch supports a variety of generalist legume feeders including beetles, weevils and caterpillars. Bumblebees and honeybees seek out the flowers for their nectar.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: V - VII (VIII).

References: „Флора на НР България”, том VI, БАН, София, (1976), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution in Bulgaria: Through shady forests and bushes in the foothills and mountains. Fore Balkan Mountains, Znepole area West Frontier Mountains, Slavyanka, Pirin, Rila, Vitosha Region, Rhodopes, Sredna Gora, Tundzha hilly plain, between 300 and 2200 meters altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Eurasia.

Conservation status and threats: protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. Законодателство на Република България: Закон за биологичното разнообразие

Medical plant

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