Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus Pratensis)
Key facts about Meadow Vetchling
- Height: 30-120 cm
- Flowering Time: May – August
- Flower colour: Yellow
- Growth habit: Self-supporting climber
- Habitat: Pasture, road verges, hedgerows
- Appears in: Meadowmat for Woodland Shade
It would be very easy to mistake this plant for Birdsfoot Trefoil. https://www.turfonline.co.uk/content/knowledge-base/birdsfoot-trefoil-lotus-corniculatus/ The bright yellow flowers are a similar shape and equally attractive to bees. However, this is more of a scrambling plant than it’s lookalike. In fact, Meadow vetchling is closely related to the sweet peas that you might be growing in your garden this year.
A perennial herb – in other words it dies back in autumn and regrows in spring – Meadow Vetchling is one of the first wildflowers you’ll see after the primroses et al have finished blooming. It’s name, Vetchling implies (quite rightly) that it’s a small vetch. The leaves have tendrils which help them to climb through bushes and cling onto other plants for support.
Flowers are a glorious shade of yellow and appear in groups of between five and twelve on long stems. Very similar flowers to peas and vetches. The seed pods are like tiny pea pods around 20mm and turning black when ripe.
Uses for Meadow Vetchling
Meadow Vetchling is one plant that farmers welcome in their hay meadows. It is a legume – meaning that little nodules on the roots actively enrich the soil. It’s also really protein rich and cattle love munching on it.
It is said that Meadow Vetchling plants will repel mice – I’ve not tested the theory yet but it has to be worth a try.
Meadow Vetchling in Meadowmat
We’ve included Birdsfoot Trefoil in Meadowmat for Woodland Shade for lots of good reasons
- Brightly coloured to bring pizzazz to a slightly shaded area
- Improves soil nutrient levels – helps to feed other plants
- Easy to grow
- Bee friendly
- Low growing
- Not too fussy about soil type
- Frost hardy
There’s a Meadowmat variety for almost any garden or landscaping project. Take a look at the selection to find out more.
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