Woundwort

Anthyllis vulneraria
Bean family (Fabaceae)


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Anthyllis vulneraria, the common kidneyvetch, kidney vetch or woundwort is a medicinal plant native to Europe. The name vulneraria means "wound healer".

Subspecies

This species includes numerous subspecies (which some authors elevate to the role of separate species). A very incomplete list is as follows:

  • A. vulneraria subsp. abyssinica (Sagorski) Cullen
  • A. vulneraria subsp. alpestris (Kit.) Asch. et Gr.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. baldensis (Kerner) Becker
  • A. vulneraria subsp. busambarensis (Lojac.) Pign.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. carpatica (Pant.) Nyman
  • A. vulneraria subsp. forondae (Sennen) Cullen
  • A. vulneraria subsp. iberica (W.Becker) Jalas
  • A. vulneraria subsp. maura (Beck) Lindb.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. polyphylla (D.C.) Nyman
  • A. vulneraria subsp. polyphylla (D.C.) Nyman × affinis Brittinger ex Kerner
  • A. vulneraria subsp. praepropera (Kerner) Bornm.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. praepropera (Kerner) Bornm. × adriatica Beck
  • A. vulneraria subsp. pulchella (Vis.) Bornm.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. vulneraria L.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. vulnerarioides (All.) Arcang.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. vulnerarioides (All.) Arcang. × bonjeanii Beck
  • A. vulneraria subsp. weldeniana (Rchb.) Cullen
  • A. vulneraria subsp. weldeniana (Rchb.) Cullen × tricolor Vukot.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. weldeniana (Rchb.) Cullen × versicolor Sagorski
  • A. vulneraria subsp. valesiaca (Becker) Guyot

Description

Anthyllis vulneraria reaches 5–40 centimetres (2.0–15.7 in) of height. The stem is simple or more often branched. The leaves are imparipinnate, glabrous or with scattered hairs on the upper face and silky hairs on the underside. The flower heads are spherical in shape and 10–20 millimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long. The petals are yellow in most sub-species, but red in A. vulneraria var. coccinea. Flowering takes place between June and September. The fruit is a legume. The fruits ripening takes place from July to October.

Kidney vetch is the food plant of the small blue butterfly larvae and the leaf miner, Aproaerema anthyllidella.

Gallery

Distribution and habitat

This plant is sporadic throughout Europe, from Iceland to the Mediterranean, in Asia Minor up to Iran, in North Africa and in Ethiopia. It is naturalized in North America. It prefers the dry grasslands and rocky environments with calcareous soil, up to 3000 m of altitude.

References


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Anthyllis vulneraria [L.]