This is quite a blousy flower and I initially thought I’d come across a garden escape. I found it growing on the beach in Eastbourne.
As a vetch, it gets its own page because I think it’s not similar to any other flower in that group, and is the only wild Anthyllis. The rounded ball of pea flowers is quite large at about 3cm across. On the plant I saw, each little yellow flower had a red base, and was surrounded with wool. There is apparently a wide range of subspecies however, and I’ve read that the red is found in coastal areas, with yellow being more common.
Anthyllis vulneraria is also known as woundwort, showing that this was historically a medicinal plant. It was traditionally used externally on minor wounds, possibly due to the cotton-wool like qualities.
Identifying vetches, vetchlings and other peas
I have written more about identifying vetches and vetchlings.
I have tagged any blog posts mentioning Kidney vetch – Anthyllis vulneraria with the name anthyllis