Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Fabales - Family: Fabaceae
Tufted Vetch forms large splashes of colour and is usually very conspicuous.
A tall clambering perennial member of the Pea family, Tufted Vetch grows in hedgerows and upon bushes. The lanceaolate grey-green leaves grow in rows of opposing pairs on trailing stems terminating in curled tendrils that grasp supporting grasses and other vegetation. The pinkish-purple tube-like flowers grow in dense spikes and align on just one side of the stem.
This plant is common and widespread throughout the UK and Ireland, most particularly in lime-rich areas such as coastal sand-dune systems.
Tufted Vetch is found in a wide variety of including woodland edges, wasteland and scrubby grassland, coastal cliffs and sand dunes; it climbs over other plants and so is very visible in hedgerows and roadside banks.
You can expect to see this member of the pea family in bloom from June until the end of August.
The flowers shown on this page were photographed on the coast of West Wales in June.