Vicia sepium 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Vicia sepium L.
Common Name(s):
English bush vetch, hedge vetch
Atossa sepium Alef.
Faba sepium Miller
Vicia anomala Boenn.
Vicia dumetorum Thuill.
Vicia rotundifolia Gilib.
Wiggersia sepium Gaertner, Meyer & Schreber
Taxonomic Notes: V. sepium L. is a tertiary wild relative of faba bean (V. faba L.), narbon bean (V. narbonensis L.), Hungarian vetch (V. pannonica Crantz and common vetch (V. sativa L.) and more remotely a number of other cultivated vetches articulated vetch (V. articulata Hornem.), bitter vetch (V. ervilia (L.) Willd.)  and Winter vetch (V. vollosa Roth.).

Three varieties are recognised: V. sepium var. sepium L., V. sepium var. eriocalyx Celak and V. sepium var. montana Koch, D.G.D.J. (Maxted 1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-08-24
Assessor(s): Osborne, J.
Reviewer(s): Maxted, N. & Nieto, A.
Contributor(s): Kell, S.P.

European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Vicia sepium is a widespread species, with stable populations and no major threats; it cannot be regarded as anything other than Least Concern in Europe.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:V. sepium is circum-polar in the Northern Hemisphere and is the most widely distributed Vicia species.

Within Europe it is native to Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslavia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia in Europe, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine (Maxted 1995).

In France it is widespread, occurs in all departments throughout the country with the exception of Corsica (Association Tela Botanica 2000–2010). In the UK it is widespread throughout the whole of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (Preston et al. 2002) and in Ireland it is widespread across the whole of the country (Preston et al. 2002).

Countries occurrence:
Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Germany; Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guernsey; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Isle of Man; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jersey; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malta; Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, Kaliningrad, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, South European Russia); San Marino; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:176091-1

Population [top]

Population:This species is possibly the second most widespread Vicia species, being common in headgrows and woodland through Eurasia (Maxted 1993, 1995).

In the UK, according to Preston et al. (2002), this species has shown no change in its distribution since the original British Plant Atlas (Perring and Walters 1962).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:V. sepium is common in hedgerows and open woodland throughout its range. It flowers May to October (Maxted 1995).

In the UK this species occurs on hedge banks, waysides, wood-borders and lightly grazed grasslands. It prefers neutral or basic soils and can also grow in upland areas such as open, ungrazed areas (Preston et al. 2002).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: V. sepium L. is a tertiary wild relative of faba bean (V. faba L.), narbon bean (V. narbonensis L.), Hungarian vetch (V. pannonica Crantz and common vetch (V. sativa L.) and more remotely a number of other cultivated vetches articulated vetch (V. articulata Hornem.), bitter vetch (V. ervilia (L.) Willd.) and Winter vetch (V. vollosa Roth.) (Maxted 1993).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The genus Vicia is listed in Annex I of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as part of the faba bean gene pool.

Ex situ seed samples are available in the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (Germany), Institute for Plant Genetic Resources 'K.Malkov' (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Institute of Botany (Yerevan, Armenia), Millennium Seed Bank (Haywards Heath, United Kingdom), N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Plant Industry (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation), Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (Radzików, Poland), Aegean Agricultural Research Institiute (Menemen, Turkey), ICARDA (Aleppo, Syria) and University of Reading (Reading, UK) gene banks.

EURISCO reports 36 germplasm accessions held in European genebanks, 13 of which are reported to be of wild or weedy origin. All 13 of the wild accessions originate from within Europe (EURISCO Catalogue 2010).

In situ the species is likely to be passively conserved in many existing protected areas in throughout its range but as its conservation in these sites is not actively monitored it may be subject to population loss over time from factors such as climate change.

Classified as Least Concern (LC) in Denmark (Den Danske Rødliste 2010).

Citation: Osborne, J. 2011. Vicia sepium. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176091A7173553. . Downloaded on 14 December 2017.
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