Vicia benghalensis (Syn. Vicia atropurpurea) - Purple Vetch

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Fabales - Family: Fabaceae

Vicia benghalensis, closeup of flowers

Also known as Red Tufted Vetch or Reddish Tufted Vetch, Vicia benghalensis is one of the most impressive and distinctive of the many vetches.


This very hairy plant occurs in West and Central Mediterranean from Portugal and North West Africa to Greece.


Red Tufted Vetch is most often found in fallow farmland, on dry waste ground and on waysides.

Vicia benghalensis

Not anywhere near as common as other members of the pea family (Fabaceae) that are found in the Mediterranean, this flower is an interesting one to find. Its dark red tufts of flowers droop gracefully from hairy stems.

The photographs shown here were taken in the Algarve, in Portugal, in May.

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