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

Vicia nigricans var. gigantea
giant vetch
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Vicia nigricans var. gigantea
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Species Information

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Somewhat succulent, perennial herb from a rhizome; stems ascending or climbing, 0.5-2 m long, hollow, strongly angled, 3-7 mm wide, sparsely hairy to nearly glabrous.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 16 to 26, lanceolate to oblong, blunt or narrowed abruptly to a tiny point, 2-6 cm long; tendrils well developed, grasping; stipules broad, sharply toothed, about 1/2 the length of the leaflets.
Inflorescence an axillary, long-stalked, dense, one-sided raceme of 7 to 20 pea-like flowers; corollas yellowish to reddish-purple, 12-18 mm long; calyces 1/2 the length of the corollas, the upper teeth to merely 1 mm long, the lowest one nearly as long as the tube.
Pods, 3-5 cm long, oblong, glabrous, blackened when dry; seeds several, black.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic upper beaches, streambanks, meadows, clearings, thickets, forest edges and openings in the lowland zone; common in coastal BC; N to AK and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vicia nigricans var. gigantea

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 34 298
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 222 359
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(10)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Vicia nigricans Hook. & Arn.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References