Bush Vetch - Vicia Sepium - Western Isles Wildflowers

Bush Vetch - Western Isles Purple Wildflowers
Bush Vetch WildFlowers
These lovely purple wildflowers are a member of the pea or legume family and can be seen in many places on The Western Isles.

The ones in the photo opposite were seen on Scalpay. They are a medium to tall scrambling perernnial with a clambering nature. They can reach up to 60cm in height.

They are often intertwined with other plants such that you might miss them unless you look closely. They have straggling stems.
This perennial grows on scrubland, roadsides, hedges, and grassy moorland places, here in tHe Isle of Lewis, Harris and Scalpay.

These lovely purple flowers can be seen in the summer months up to Sepember. Small groups of two to six pale lilac-blue flowers appear between April and September.

As the flowers get older they fade in colour to almost bluish, then nearly white as the season passes.

There are hHairs on the beetroot-coloured sepals

It does not have the eye-catching colour of the related Tufted Vetch, or indeed the common vetch - vicia sativa. Its colour belonging more to the dullish red side of the purple spectrum, although the flowers can be pink, purple or blue.

Insects Love the Bush Vetch
Bush Vetch attracts many insects, bumblebees, Honey Bees. Weevils, beetles, caterpillars

Bush Vetch - Climbing habit
Its climbing habit is enabled by branched tendrils at the end of each leaf stem, which curl around surrounding plants.


Bush vetch has ladder like leave, arranged in pairs up either side of the stem. The leaves are oval and blunt at the ends with small bristles. The leaves are widest near the base. There are tendrils at the end of each pinnate leaf.

Seed Pods
The seed pods of Bush Vetch are black and hairless and look like peapods.

Bush Vetch at Scalpay
Click pictures below for larger photographs
Bush Vetch Leaves
Purple Western Isles wildflowers
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