Lentil Vetch
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Lentil Vetch
ative Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Lentil Vetch, Smooth Tare, Smooth Vetch, Sparrow Vetch
Botanical name: Vicia tetrasperma    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Vicia gemella, Ervum tetraspermum

Lentil Vetch is a tiny annual herb , prostrate or climbing, with branching stems that are slender, and smooth to lightly vevety. The stipules are entire, arrow-shaped or nearly triangular, 2-3 mm long. The alternately arranged leaves are compound, 2-4 cm long, with 4-10 mostly hairless leaflets 0.6-2cm long and at least 3 mm wide. The leaflets are oblong to narrow elliptic and at the tip, rounded with a small point. The terminal leaflet is modified as a tendril that is entire or branched. Flowers are borne in 1-3-flowered stalked racemes in the leaf axils. Sepal cup is 3 mm long, hairy, lip oblique, teeth unequal, hardly shorter than the tube. Flowers are lilac or pale-blue, 4-8 mm long. The sepal tube is 1-1.5 mm long, and the five sepals that are irregular, with the upper sepal clearly shorter than the lower. The five petals are lilac to whitish with prominently darker veins. The standard overlaps the wings , which are adherent to the keel petals. Fruit is 8-15 mm long, 2.5-4.5 mm broad, linear-oblong, hairless 3-4-seeded. Lentil Vetch is found in Afghanistan, Bhutan, N India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, N Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, N Africa, C and SW Asia, N Atlantic islands, Europe, up to altitudes 2900 m. Flowering: February-August.

Identification credit: Varun Sharma
Photographed in Rankhet, Uttarakhand.
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