Common Kidney Vetch is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in rocky outcrops and coastal areas, to a mature height of up to 25cm.
Kidney Vetch is named after its traditional use to treat kidney disorders. The plant bears its yellow pea-like flowers in distinctive dense clusters, nestled amongst a wooly spherical flowerhead, surrounded by a whorl of leaves. The appearance of the flowerhead gives rise to the alternative common name of 'Granny's Pincushion'.
Botanic classification and naming: Common Kidney Vetch is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Anthyllis' identifies the plant as a Kidney Vetch and its species name 'vulneraria' means 'wound-healing plant'.
Benefits: Kidney Vetch provides a food source for caterpillars of the Small Blue butterfly. Common Kidney Vetch has root nodules that host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These make atmospheric nitrogen available to feed the plant and enrich the soil.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.