Perennial herb; stems upright or climbing, glabrous to stiff-hairy, 30-80 cm tall.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 8 to 16, linear-oblong to oblanceolate or egg-shaped, 1.5-3.5 cm long, squared-off to notched and with a slender point at the tip; tendrils well developed, branched, grasping; stipules 3-8 mm long, often deeply toothed, sometimes arrowhead-shaped, often with a dark blotch.
Inflorescence an axillary, barely-stalked raceme of 1-3 (usually a pair of) pea-like flowers; corollas purple to whitish, 15-25 mm long, the wings sometimes reddish; calyx-teeth nearly equal in size, awl-shaped, the lower teeth equalling or exceeding the bell-shaped tube.
Pods, narrowly oblong, 3-7 cm long, initially hairy becoming glabrous; seeds 4 to 12.
Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Flowers usually at least 18 mm long, the wings often red; leaflets oblanceolate or broader................... var. sativa
1. Flowers usually less than 18 mm long, the wings usually not red; leaflets variable but often linear.................... var. angustifolia (L.) Wahlenb.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Vicia sativa subsp. nigra (L.) Ehrh.