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Vicia sativa L.
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae
Vicia sativa L. APNI*

Description: Trailing or climbing annual herb, pubescent to ± glabrous; stems to 1 m long.

Leaves 2–10 cm long; leaflets variable, 4–16, 10–40 mm long, 1–15 mm wide, apex truncate to emarginate, apiculate, white or grey-pubescent to glabrous; stipules 3–8 mm long, mostly lobed with an ovate, yellowish gland.

Flowers 1–4; ± sessile. Calyx 7–20 mm long. Corolla 10–30 mm long, pink to red-purple; standard slightly longer than wings or keel.

Pods 2–8 cm long, 3–12 mm wide; seeds 6–12.

Photo D. Hardin

Flowering: Flowers winter–spring.

Distribution and occurrence: Widespread. Native of S Eur. and SW Asia.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *SWP, *NFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
AVH map***

A variable species, a few intermediate forms occur between the subspecies; subsp. sativa and subsp. cordata can only be separated with certainty if mature pods are present.

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

 Key to the subspecies 
1Leaflets obcordate to oblong, mostly 5–15 mm wide; flowers 17–30 mm long; calyx 12–22 mm long, teeth as long as or longer than calyx tube, acuminate; pods yellow-brown or dark brown, constricted or not constricted between seeds; seeds 3–6.5 mm diam.2
Leaflets linear to narrow-elliptic, 1–4 mm wide; flowers 8–18 mm long; calyx 7–10 mm long, teeth shorter than tube; pods 2.5–5 cm long, not torulose, brown turning blackish, usually glabrous; seeds 2.5–4 mm diam.subsp. nigra
2Pods 6–12 mm wide, torulose (cylindrical and ± constricted between seeds), yellow-brown; seeds 4.5–6.5 mm diam. Leaflets obcordate to oblong 12–27 mm long, 5–10 mm wide, apex truncate or emarginate. Corolla 17–30 mm long. Fruits Nov.subsp. sativa
Pods 4–6 mm wide, not torulose, dark brown; seeds 3–5 mm diam. Leaflets obovate to oblong, 13–35 mm long, 10–15 mm wide, apex truncate or emarginate. Corolla 18–26 mm long.
                       Back to 1
subsp. cordata

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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