A scrambling annual found in rough grassland on coastal undercliffs, and inland in open hedges, scrubby grassland and on railway banks. At many inland sites it was probably introduced as a contaminant of legume crops, but can be persistent along hedges and tracksides. Lowland.
V. bithynica appears to have declined in several of its coastal sites, which are now much more overgrown than previously. The status of some inland populations is uncertain, and it is possible that more of these could be native than are shown on the map.
Habit: Annual, hairy or subglabrous. Stem: climbing or ascending, < 60 cm. Leaf: stipules dentate; leaflets 2--6, 1--7 cm, 3--22 mm wide, obovate or oblong to lanceolate or linear, obtuse or acute. Inflorescence: < subtending leaf; flowers 1--3, crowded at tip. Flower: calyx attachment +- basal, tube 3.5 mm, lobes 5 mm, +- equal, lanceolate, ciliate; corolla 16--20 mm, banner purple, wings, keel pink to white. Fruit: 2.5--4.5 cm, 7--11 mm wide, narrowly oblong, +- recurved, hairy, margin ciliate; 2--7-seeded. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 20 m.
This plant might be poisonous
How to get rid of:
Control common vetch with a post-emergent two-, three-, and four-way broadleaf herbicide. Herbicides containing triclopyr and clopyralid, as well as fluroxypyr products are efficient herbicide controls.