The Pea family Fabaceae or Leguminosae includes many flowers including Vetches and Vetchlings, Clovers, Bird’s Foot Trefoil and many more. There seemed to be quite a lot of these legumes when I visited the Last Meadow in Seaford in early June.
A blooming meadow
Ox-eye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare
The swathes of these daisies were fabulous and rippling in the wind. L
Wild strawberry – Fragaria vesca
Pyramidal Orchid – Anacamptis pyramidalis
The Pyramidal Orchids were in bud, and the Old Man’s Beard / Traveller’s Joy Clematis vitalba was starting to come up. Last year there were 400+ Orchids here. L
Eyebright – Euphrasia
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Eyebright as I associate it with the close-cropped sward on top of Seaford Head but the Last meadow is quite rough grass. L
But back to the peas…
Grass Vetchling – Lathyrus nissolia
My foray into Leguminosae started with Grass Vetchling, Lathyrus nissolia. It stood out in the meadow as magenta pink specks of colour (see main image at top of page).
I had quite a lot of trouble photographing it because it refused to stay still in the breeze on its long, slender, grass-like stems (if you follow the stem back from the flower in the pic above you’ll see that it ends in a tall grassy stalk on the left).
Once I was in amongst the flowers, there was yelllow Bird’s Foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus L (another pea), and a smaller pale lavender pea flower which I don’t remember seeing before.
Hairy Tare – Vicia hirsuta
This has tiny flowers almost like Sea Lavender, and small hairy seed pods containing only two seeds.
When I was photographing Hairy Tare, I came across a more elegant version with larger but fewer flowers.
Smooth Tare – Vicia tetrasperma
I don’t remember seeing any seed pods of the Smooth Tare but apparently if I had, it would have had most commonly four seeds, hence the botanical name.
Hop trefoil – Trifolium campestre
I love the bright lemon yellow flowers of this pea. In the pic it is mixed in with some vetch foliage.
Common Vetch – Vicia sativa
Plants of Common Vetch are much larger and more robust than the other Vicias mentioned above, with flowers a couple of centimetres long rather than a few millimetres.
Restharrow – Ononis repens
Outside the Last Meadow, about a hundred metres down the road on my way home, I spotted my last pea flower of the day – Restharrow. L
Flowers marked L are from the chalk grassland indicator species list and here are listed five which isn’t bad as firstly I wasn’t really searching them out, and secondly it’s only a patch of rough dog walking ground.
If you like a meadow, I found this ID booklet pdf for meadow wildflowers.