E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Vicia tetrasperma (L.) Schreb.
slender vetch (lentil vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© RĂ©al Sarrazin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26697)

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Distribution of Vicia tetrasperma
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems decumbent or climbing, 30-70 cm long/tall, slender, glabrous to sparsely stiff-hairy.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 4 to 12, linear to narrowly oblong-elliptic, rounded but abruptly pointed at the tip, 10-25 mm long; tendrils well developed, unbranched, grasping; stipules 2-4 mm long, linear, usually with a basal tooth.
Inflorescence an axillary raceme of 1-3 pea-like flowers, at the tips of long thread-like stalks; corollas lavender to bluish-white, 4-6 mm long; calyx-teeth unequal in size, the upper short-triangular, the lower linear-lanceolate and as long as the tube.
Pods, oblong, flattened, the tip rounded and abruptly short-pointed on one side, glabrous, 1-1.5 cm long; seeds 4 to 5.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields, clearings and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent on SE Vancouver Island and adjacent islands and the lower mainland; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Vicia tetrasperma var. tenuissima Druce

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References