Yellow Vetchling is a
annual plant of the UK, typically found growing in chalk grassland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 60cm.
Yellow Vetchling is named after the colour of its flowers and its close relationship to Vetches, which are wild members of the pea family, often grown for fodder. The plant is a dull-green and has delta-shaped leaves attached directly to its smooth round stems. It has long conspicuous tendrils, used to anchor with neighbouring plants. The flowers of Yellow Vetchling are borne singly on a short stalk at the end of a leafless branch from the stem.
Botanic classification and naming: Yellow Vetchling is a member of the Pea (Fabaceae) family. The genus name
'Lathyrus' identifies the plant as a Vetchling and its species name 'aphaca' means 'kind of pulse'.
Concerns: This plant, but especially the seed, contains a toxic amino-acid affecting the nervous system, causing a serious condition affecting muscle control known as 'Lathyrism'.
Benefits: Yellow 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.