Vicia sepium

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaFabaceaeViciaVicia sepium


A climbing or scrambling perennial herb of hedge banks, waysides, wood-borders and lightly grazed grasslands. In upland areas it favours more open, ungrazed situations but it is most frequently found on neutral or basic soils. Generally lowland, but reaching 820 m in Caenlochan (Angus).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1095

Height (cm): 60

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: 2615

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 945

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4

Atlas Change Index: -0.43

Weighted Changed Factor: -25

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (115b)
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.