- Vetch, Bitter (Lathyrus montanus )
- Synonyms: Bitter Vetch, Lathyrus linnifolius.
Bitter Vetchling is a hairless perennial plant with a winged stem and is up to 30 cm high. The leaves are pointed (some vetches end in a tendril instead) and have 2 - 4 pairs of leaflets. The lovely pea-like flowers are crimson fading to blue. The hairless pods are reddish brown and 2.5 - 4.5 cm long.
A frequent plant in scattered localities throughout Britain, but rare in East-Anglia. Its habitat is Open woods, woodland margins, hedges, banks and shrub, heath and grasslands on acid soil, especially in hilly and mountainous regions.
The plant has fleshy root-tubers which in the past were frequently gathered for food. In Scotland these roots have also been used to flavour some whiskeys. Flowers: April - July