Name: Tufted Vetch
Scientific name: Vicia cracca
Nature Stars: 50
About: This plant is also known as cow vetch or bird vetch and is a member of the pea and clover family (legumes). It lives happily in many different habitats including woodland edges, scrubland, coastal margins and grassland. Flowers between June and August.
How to identify: Look for long, grey-green leaves that grow in a symmetrical row from long, trailing stems. Curled tendrils used for climbing and grasping often spiral from the ends. Flowers are pinky-purple tube shapes that turn up into a hood on the end and grow together along a spike.
Where: Very common, grows all over the UK and Ireland
Fantastic fact: The seed pods look like that of a very small pea and turn black when they are ripe.
Photograph credit: Les Binns