Vicia cracca

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaFabaceaeViciaVicia cracca


A scrambling perennial herb of hedgerows, waysides, wood-borders, scrubby grassland and river and canal banks. It also occurs in permanent pastures and hay meadows, and in marshes and tall-herb fens, but avoids permanently wet sites. Generally lowland, but reaching 550 m at Moor House, Teesdale (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreo-temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Boreo-temperate.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1083

Height (cm): 120

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Comment on Clonality

Indicated as highly mobile by Tamm et al. (2002) but having limited spread by CPE

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2647

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 938

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 10

Atlas Change Index: -0.37

Weighted Changed Factor: 13

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (114c)
Aarssen LW, Hall IV, Jensen JIN
1986.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 76. Vicia angustifolia L., V. cracca L., V. sativa L., V. tetrasperma (L.) Schreb. and V. villosa Roth. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 66:711-737.
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.