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Genus Vicia Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Description: Trailing or climbing annual, biennial or perennial herbs.

Leaves imparipinnate, usually ± sessile; terminal leaflet modified to a tendril, sometimes branched; stipules occasionally toothed; stipels absent.

Inflorescences of axillary racemes or flowers solitary or few in axils; bracts small caducous; bracteoles absent. Calyx 5-toothed, teeth ± equal to tube. Standard and wings obovate or oblong; keel obtuse. Stamens diadelphous; anthers uniform. Ovary with several ovules; style terete or compressed, with at least a few hairs; stigma terminal.

Pods oblong to linear, compressed, dehiscent; seeds usually globose, arillate.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 150 species, northern Africa, Mediterranean & Asia. Australia: 7 species (naturalized), all States.

Many species are cultivated for food and as fodder crops; some have become naturalized, especially in grassland and sclerophyll forest.

Text by C. Gardner & T. A. James
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Tendrils absent; leaf rachis terminating in a spur to 10 mm long.Vicia faba
At least upper leaves terminating in tendrils.2
2Flowers 1–4 in axils of leaves, subsessile or peduncles shorter than the flowers; stipules mostly with a prominent central gland.Vicia sativa
Flowers 1-many on peduncles longer than the flowers; stipules without glands.
                       Back to 1
3
3Corolla 10–25 mm long; pods 2–5 cm long with 2–8 seeds; stipules 3–6 mm long.4
Corolla 2–8 mm long; pods 0.8–1.2 cm long with 2–5 seeds; stipules 1–4 mm long.
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5
4Racemes 1–5-flowered, mostly shorter than the leaves; calyx base only slightly swollen; lower stipules 2-lobed, the lobes entire.Vicia monantha
Racemes 3–40-flowered, usually longer than the leaves; calyx base distinctly swollen; lower stipules not lobed, finely toothed.
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Vicia villosa
5Leaves with 3–5 pairs of leaflets; flowers 5–8 mm long; pods with 3–5 seeds.Vicia tetrasperma
Leaves with 4–10 pairs of leaflets; flowers 2–5 mm long; pods with 1 or 2 seeds;
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6
6Leaflets linear or ± lanceolate 5–25 mm long, 1–3 mm wide; calyx teeth equal; pods 8–11 mm long, 2–4 mm wide, pubescent.Vicia hirsuta
Leaflets linear to elliptic, mostly 8–15 mm long, 1–5 mm wide; calyx teeth unequal; pods 12–20 mm long, 5–8 mm wide, glabrous.
                       Back to 5
Vicia disperma

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