Sweet peas (Vicia)

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Sweet peas
Fence vetch (Vicia sepium)

Fence vetch ( Vicia sepium )

Eurosiden I
Order : Fabales (Fabales)
Family : Legumes (Fabaceae)
Subfamily : Butterflies (Faboideae)
Tribe : Fabeae
Genre : Sweet peas
Scientific name

The vetch ( Vicia ) are a genus of plants in the subfamily of butterflies (Faboideae) within the family of legumes (Fabaceae). The approximately 160 species occur mainly in the northern temperate areas.

The sweet pea ( Lathyrus odoratus ), which is occasionally referred to as "sweet peas" or "garden pea", does not belong to the genus Vicia , but is a species of the genus flat peas ( Lathyrus ).


Illustration of two Vicia species, Vicia tenuifolia (left) and Vicia dumetorum (right)

Vegetative characteristics

Vicia species are annual or perennial herbaceous plants . The mostly thin and branched stems can be upright on their own, in some species they are overhanging, but many species have winding tendrils with which they climb up other plants.

The alternate, stalked leaves are usually pinnate in pairs. The rachis ends in a tendril or a spike tip; in Vicia subvillosa it ends with a leaflet, so this species is pinnate unpaired. There are 1 to 13 pairs of ganzrandigen pinna flake available. The stipules have a smooth or toothed edge.

Generative characteristics

The flowers stand individually to a few in the leaf axils or in lateral, racemose inflorescences . Small bracts are present, but can fall off early; Cover sheets are missing.

The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic and five-fold with double perianth . The five dissimilar to the same sepals are fused bell-shaped and often hairy, with at least two calyx teeth less than twice as long as the calyx tube. The five petals are arranged in the typical structure of the butterfly flowers. The colors of the petals range from many shades of blue to purple to red, yellow or white. The flag is nailed. There are ten stamens with thin stamens. The individual carpels contain two to eight ovules . The pencil-shaped stylus is hairy.

The flattened legume contains two to eight seeds. The mostly spherical to elongated seeds have an often elongated hilum and a thin aril .


The distribution area mainly includes the temperate climatic zones of the northern hemisphere , but also reaches the South American Andes , tropical Africa and Hawaii .


Subgenus Vicia section Faba : Field bean ( Vicia faba )
Subgenus Vicia section Hypechusa : Hungarian vetch ( Vicia pannonica )
Subgenus Vicia section Vicia : large-flowered vetch ( Vicia grandiflora )
Subgenus Vicilla Section Americanae : inflorescence of Vicia americana
Subgenus Vicilla section Cassubicae : Kassuben vetch ( Vicia cassubica )
Subgenus Vicilla section Cracca : Vetch ( Vicia cracca )
Subgenus Vicilla section Cracca : Dalmatian Bird Vetch ( Vicia tenuifolia ssp. Dalmatica )
Subgenus Vicilla section Ervum : Four-seeded vetch ( Vicia tetrasperma )
Subgenus Vicilla section Ervilia : Illustration of the lentil vetch ( Vicia ervilia )
Subgenus Vicilla section Vicilla : pea vetch ( Vicia pisiformis )
Subgenus Vicilla Section Vicilla : Forest vetch ( Vicia sylvatica )

The genus Vicia L. belongs to the tribe Fabeae, Syn . : Viciae DC. The genus Vicia was published in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum . Synonyms for Vicia L. are: Bona Medik. , Ervilia Link , Ervum L. , Faba Mill. , Vicilla Schur , Vicioides Moench .

The genus Vicia is named after G. Lewis, et al., Eds .: Legumes of the world. (Leg World), 2005, 506 divided into two sub-genera with 26 sections with about 160 species. Here is a selection of the types:


There are around 120 to 150 species of Vicia worldwide (selection).

  • In Central Europe, among others:
    • Single-flowered vetch or Algaroba lentil ( Vicia articulata Hornem. , Syn .: V. monanthos (L.) Desf. , V. monantha Koch , Vicia multifida Wallr. ): They are eaten, for example, under the name "black lentils".
    • Purple vetch ( Vicia benghalensis L. , Syn .: Vicia albicans Lowe , Vicia atropurpurea Desf. , Vicia loweana Steud. , Vicia micrantha Lowe nom. Illeg., Cracca atropurpurea (Desf.) Gren. & Godron )
    • Cassube vetch ( Vicia cassubica L. )
    • Bird vetch ( Vicia cracca L. )
    • Hedge vetch ( Vicia dumetorum L. )
    • Lentil vetch , vetch, stone lentil, bitter vetch, Erfe or Ervilie ( Vicia ervilia (L.) Willd. )
    • Field bean ( Vicia faba L. , Syn .: Faba bona Medik. , Faba vulgaris Moench ): With the varieties:
      • Broad Bean ( Vicia faba var. Equina Pers. )
      • Broad bean or broad bean ( Vicia faba var. Faba , Syn .: Faba vulgaris var. Major Harz , Vicia faba var. Major (Harz) Beck )
      • Field bean ( Vicia faba var. Minuta (hort. Ex Alef.) Mansf. , Syn .: Faba vulgaris var. Minor Harz , Faba vulgaris var. Minuta hort. Ex Alef. , Vicia faba var. Minor (Harz) Beck )
    • Large-flowered vetch ( Vicia grandiflora Scop. )
    • Wire- haired vetch , Ervenlinse, Hairy vetch, trembling lens or trembling vetch ( Vicia hirsuta (L.) Gray )
    • Spring dwarf vetch , sand vetch or flat pea vetch ( Vicia lathyroides L. )
    • Yellow vetch ( Vicia lutea L. , Syn .: Vicia laevigata Sm. ): With the subspecies:
      • Vicia lutea subsp. lutea
      • Vicia lutea subsp. vestita (Boiss.) Rouy (Syn .: Vicia hirta Balb. ex DC. , Vicia vestita Boiss. )
    • Esparsette vetch ( Vicia onobrychioides L. )
    • Heath vetch ( Vicia orobus DC. )
    • Hungarian vetch or Pannonian vetch ( Vicia pannonica Crantz ): With the subspecies:
      • Vicia pannonica subsp. pannonica
      • Striped vetch ( Vicia pannonica subsp. Striata (M.Bieb.) Nyman , Syn .: Vicia striata M.Bieb. )
    • Pea vetch ( Vicia pisiformis L. )
    • Vicia sativa L .: With the subspecies:
      • Vicia sativa subsp. amphicarpa (L.) Batt. (Syn .: Vicia amphicarpa L. )
      • Vicia sativa subsp. cordata (Wulfen ex Hoppe) Batt. (Syn .: Vicia cordata Wulfen ex Hoppe )
      • Vicia sativa subsp. macrocarpa (Moris) Arcang. (Syn .: Vicia macrocarpa (Moris) Bertol. )
      • Narrow-leaved vetch , narrow-leaved fodder vetch or seed-fodder vetch ( Vicia sativa subsp. Nigra (L.) Ehrh. , Syn .: Vicia angustifolia L. , Vicia pilosa M.Bieb. , Vicia segetalis Thuill. )
      • Real forage vetch, forage vetch or seed vetch, field vetch. ( Vicia sativa subsp. Sativa , Syn .: Vicia alba Moench , Vicia leucosperma Moench , Vicia sativa var. Leucosperma (Moench) Ser. , Vicia sativa var. Obovata Ser. )
    • Fence vetch ( Vicia sepium L. )
    • Forest vetch ( Vicia sylvatica L. )
    • Vicia tenuifolia Roth (Syn .: Vicia elegans Guss. , Vicia variabilis Freyn ): With the subspecies:
      • Dalmatian vetch or Dalmatian vetch ( Vicia tenuifolia subsp. Dalmatica (A.Kern.) Greuter , Syn .: Vicia dalmatica A.Kern. )
      • Fine-leaved vetch , thin-leaf vetch, narrow-vetch ( Vicia tenuifolia subsp. Tenuifolia , Syn .: Vicia brachytropis Kar. & Kir. , Vicia cracca subsp. Tenuifolia (Roth) Bonnier & Layens )
      • Vicia tenuifolia subsp. villosa (Batt.) Greuter (Syn .: Vicia tenuifolia f. villosa Batt. )
    • Four-seeded vetch ( Vicia tetrasperma (L.) Schreb. )
    • Vicia villosa Roth : With the subspecies and varieties:
      • Vicia villosa var. Gore
      • Vicia villosa subsp. eriocarpa (house knot) PWBall (Syn .: Vicia eriocarpa (house knot ) Hal. )
      • Vicia villosa subsp. pseudocracca (Bertol.) Rouy (Syn .: Vicia pseudocracca Bertol. )
      • Vicia villosa , Hairy Vetch or sand-vetch ( Vicia villosa subsp. Villosa )
      • Colorful vetch ( Vicia villosa subsp. Varia (Host) Corb. , Syn .: Vicia varia host , Vicia dasycarpa Ten. )


Some types of vetch are used for agriculture in Germany:

The field bean ( Vicia faba ), also known as broad bean or horse bean (formerly also called "Vietzebohne"), is also a vetch species, in contrast to the common beans , which belong to the genus Phaseolus .


The asteroid (1097) Vicia , discovered on August 11, 1928, is named after the plant genus.

See also


  • Syed Irtifaq Ali: Flora of West Pakistan 100: Papilionaceae. Stewart Herbarium, Rawalpindi 1977, p. 265, ( online ).
  • Bojian Bao, Nicholas J. Turland: Vicia. In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven, Deyuan Hong (Eds.): Flora of China . Volume 10: Fabaceae . Science Press / Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing / St. Louis 2010, ISBN 978-1-930723-91-7 , pp. 560 (English, online ). (Section description)

Individual evidence

  1. Carl von Linné: Species Plantarum. Volume 2, Lars Salvius, Stockholm 1753, p. 734, digitizedhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.biodiversitylibrary.org%2Fopenurl%3Fpid%3Dtitle%3A669%26volume%3D2X%26issue%3D%26spage%3D734%26date%3D1753 .~GB%3D~ IA% 3D ~ MDZ% 3D% 0A ~ SZ% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3D ~ PUR% 3D
  2. ^ A b c Vicia in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
  3. ^ Karl Ernst Hermann Krause : The bean and the Vietzebohne. In: Yearbook of the Association for Low German Language Research 16, 1890, p. 53 ff.
  4. ^ Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Volume 1 in the Google Book Search

Web links

Commons : Sweet peas ( Vicia )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Wicke  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations