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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Robert E. Preston & Duane Isely

Annual, perennial herb, unarmed. Stem: generally sprawling or climbing, ridged or angled. Leaf: even-1-pinnate; stipules with an upper and smaller lower lobe, entire to dentate; leaflets 4–many, alternate to opposite (often on 1 plant), linear to ovate; main axis generally ending as tendril. Inflorescence: raceme or cluster, axillary; peduncle or pedicels present; bracts small or 0. Flower: corolla generally lavender to purple, occasionally white or yellow; 9 filaments fused, 1 free; style generally not ± flat, puberulent at tip, all around or especially abaxially. Fruit: dehiscent, generally ± oblong, generally flat; base stalked or not. Seed: >= 2.
± 160 species: North America, Eurasia, South America, Africa. (Latin: vetch) [Steele & Wojciechowski 2003 Adv Legume Syst 10:355–370]
Unabridged references: [Hermann 1960 USDA Handb 168]

Key to Vicia

1. Leaflet 5–12 cm; plant erect; tendrils 0 ..... [V. faba]

1' Leaflet generally 1–4 cm; plant sprawling or climbing; tendrils generally present

2. Inflorescence a cluster of 1–4 flowers, peduncle ± 0, < pedicels

3. Corolla 5–6 mm ..... [V. lathyroides]

3' Corolla 10–30 mm

4. Corolla pink-purple to ± white; banner glabrous; fruit hairy initially, glabrous at maturity ..... V. sativa

5. Calyx tube 4.5–5.5 mm, lobes 3–4.5 mm; corolla 10–18 mm, pink-purple to ± white ..... subsp. nigra

5' Calyx tube 6–7 mm, lobes 5–11 mm; corolla 18–30 mm, generally pink-purple ..... subsp. sativa

4' Corolla yellow or yellow-white, often purple-blotched or -tinged; banner puberulent abaxially or glabrous; fruit hairy

6. Banner glabrous; fruit hairs from conspicuous tubercles ..... V. lutea

6' Banner puberulent abaxially; fruit hairs not from conspicuous tubercles ..... [V. pannonica]

2' Inflorescence a raceme, peduncled

7. Corolla 3–9 mm

8. Fruit 6–10 mm, with spreading hairs, stalk-like base 0; leaflets 10–16, flowers generally 2–8 ..... V. hirsuta

8' Fruit 10–30 mm, glabrous or ± strigose, stalk-like base ± 1–2 mm; leaflets, flowers various, included as at 8.

9. Fruit 10–13 mm, tip rounded, style reflexed; leaflets 4–10, linear to elliptic, peduncle thread-like, 1–3 cm, often curved, 1–3-flowered ..... V. tetrasperma

9' Fruit 10–30 mm, tip tapered to style, straight to curved; leaflets or peduncle not as at 9.

10. Leaflets ± 12–20; flowers 2–6; seeds 2 ..... [V. disperma]

10' Leaflets 4–10; flowers 1–3; seeds generally > 2

11. Style hairs at tip, generally abaxial; leaflet tip generally truncate, notched, or 1–5-toothed; flowers separated or 1 ..... V. hassei

11' Style hairs at tip, below, all around; leaflet tip acute, 1-toothed, or occasionally truncate; flowers generally crowded or 1 ..... V. ludoviciana subsp. ludoviciana

7' Corolla > 9 mm

12. Leaf generally 1–1.5 dm; leaflets 16–24, larger 2.5–4 cm — fruit often upcurved, ± 12–13 mm wide ..... V. gigantea

12' Leaf rarely > 1 dm; leaflets either fewer or smaller than at 12.

13. Flowers 1–3, crowded at tip of inflorescence axis; fruit hairy, margins ciliate; stipules unlobed, dentate ..... [V. bithynica]

13' Flowers 3–25, ± evenly spaced along inflorescence axis; fruit glabrous to strigose, margins not ciliate; stipule lobes entire or lower lobe dentate

14. Flowers generally spaced, on > 1 side of axis (except occasionally when pressed), 15–25 mm, length when pressed 2.5–3.5 × width; stalk-like fruit base 2–5 mm ..... V. americana subsp. americana

14' Flowers not spaced, generally on 1 side of axis, generally < 18 mm, length when pressed generally 4–6 × width; stalk-like fruit base 1.5–3 mm

15. Inflorescence generally ± = subtending leaf, 3–12-flowered; corolla dark or red-purple; fruit densely strigose ..... V. benghalensis

15' Inflorescence generally > subtending leaf, generally 10–25-flowered; corolla blue-purple or lavender to ± white; fruit glabrous or with short, sparse appressed hairs

16. Calyx generally obliquely attached but only ± lopsided-swollen at base; flower length when pressed ± 3–3.5 × width; fruit 6–7 mm wide ..... [V. cracca]

16' Calyx both obliquely attached and lopsided-swollen at base; flower length when pressed 4–6 × width; fruit 6–10 mm wide ..... V. villosa

17. Hairs on stems, leaves 0 or sparse, appressed, ± 1 mm; lower calyx lobe narrowly lanceolate, generally 1–2.5 mm ..... subsp. varia

17' Hairs on upper stems, leaves not sparse, spreading, 1–2 mm; lower calyx lobe linear, 2–4 mm ..... subsp. villosa


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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