Meadow Vetchling is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in meadow and grassland, to a mature height of up to 120cm.
Meadow Vetchling is named after its habitat. The name 'Vetchling' indicates a plant related to Vetches, which are wild members of the pea family, often grown for fodder. Meadow Vetchling has narrow, pointed leaves, arranged in pairs, along square stems. It bears its flowers in terminal clusters.
Botanic classification and naming: Meadow Vetchling is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Lathyrus' identifies the plant as a Vetchling and its species name 'pratensis' means 'meadow plant'.
Concerns: This plant, but especially the seed, may contain a toxic amino-acid affecting the nervous system, causing a serious condition affecting muscle control known as 'Lathyrism'.
Benefits: Meadow Vetchling 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.