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Bigflower Vetch

Vicia grandiflora


Stems - Multiple from the base, scrambling to erect, mostly unbranched, angled, carinate, pubescent (sometimes sparsely), to +1m long, hollow, herbaceous. Leaves - Alternate, stipulate, sessile, even-pinnate, to +10cm long, terminated by a branching tendril. Stipules of the lower leaves acute to acuminate, with one or two serrate teeth and a few ciliate hairs, with pointed basal auricles (auricles with ciliate margins), to 1cm long. The stipules each with a translucent spot in the middle. This spot is pubescent abaxially (use a lens to see this). Stipules of the upper leaves ovate to oblong, acuminate, smaller than those of the basal leaves (to 5mm long), mostly entire, purplish, with a translucent spot which is pubescent abaxially. Rachis of the leaves pubescent. Leaflets subopposite to alternate, with petiolules to 1mm long. Leaflets of lower leaves elliptic, truncate at the apex, mucronate, 2-3 pairs per leaf, to +/-2cm long, 1cm broad. Leaflets of the upper leaves linear to linear-oblong, truncate to emarginate at the apex, mucronate, to +2cm long, 5-7mm broad, sparse pubescent above, pubescent to sericeous below, entire, 5-6 pairs per leaf. Flowers - Corolla lilac to pale yellow. Standard to 3cm long, +/-2cm broad, glabrous. Wing petals adnate to the keel petals in the middle. Keel petals purplish at the apex. All petals glabrous. Stamens diadelphous, the stamen tube glabrous, -1cm long. Style distinctly upcurved, with floccose hairs at the apex, 3-4mm long. Ovary green, somewhat compressed, puberulent. Calyx tube oblique at the base, pubescent externally, glabrous internally, +/-1cm long, 5-lobed. Lobes attenuate, subequal, +/-5mm long, ciliate. Fruits +/-5cm long, 7-10mm broad, strongly compressed, with +/-10 seeds.


Origin: Native to Europe. Habitat: Fallow and cultivated fields, roadsides, railroads. This one was photographed at the Stork Ponds at Silver Bluff Audubon Center near Jackson (Aiken County), SC. It is often called the "Yellow-flowered Vetch" but its flowers are typically only yellow when in bud or when first opened. The flowers quickly turn a more pale lilac color once opened. The flowers are solitary, paired, or in 3's in the leaf axils. Like most plants of this genus, this species is weedy.

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Spotted by

South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Mar 30, 2013
Submitted on Mar 31, 2013

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