Western Isles Wildflowers
Western Isles wildflowers is a collection of information about our Hebridean wildflowers including identification hints, traditional herbal uses and general plant lore.
On June 23rd, 2006 many of the verges in the Lewis village of Shawbost were yelllow banks of kidney vetch.
Kidney vetch is a member of the clover family, and the visual similarity between the more familiar clovers is a good starting place in identifying it.
This plant usually has yellow flowers, although some may be orange-tinged, it is usual for one of the clustered flowerheads to carry burnt and dead looking flowers along with the new ones.
Kidney vetch grows in calcareous soil (like the machair) and on sea-cliffs, so tormentil (our acid indicator plant) will not be in the immeadiate area.
The leafs stalks hold leaflets in pairs (pinnate) the stem and leaves are silky.
The seedpods of this wildflower are small and each carry a single seed.
The outermost floral envelope (calyx) is woolly.
Kidney vetch flowers from June to August.
Kidney Vetch is a native plant of the Western Isles.
Shawbost - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
24rd June, 2006