This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is hedgerows, bushy places, hedges, meadows, cornfields, and woods. The habit is climbing. The stems are thread-like. The leaflets are in 3-6 pairs, blunt, narrow, linear to oblong, with a short point. The stipules are half arrow-shaped, the lower divided into two nearly to the base. The tendrils are once- or twice-forked. The stalks bear 1-2 flowers, which are as long as the leaves, pale-blue, the standard with blue streaks, notched. The calyx-teeth are long, triangular, unequal, shorter than the tube, the two upper spreading. The ultimate flower-stalks are short and curved. The pods are shortly-stalked, 4-seeded, smooth, linear to oblong, the hile oblong. The seeds are 3-5, rounded, dull-brown, roughish. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering from June to August. It is a herbaceous annual.
Slender Tare( Viciagracilis, Lois.). - The habitat of this plant is hedges, fields, in the south, and waste places, and the plant is rare. The habit is as in the last. The leaflets are in 3-4 pairs, linear, long, narrow, with a long narrow point, acute. The stipules are half arrow-shaped. The flowers are twice as large as in the last, the stalks bearing 1-4 flowers, and longer than the leaves, pale-biue, with a notched standard. The calyx-teeth are unequal, shorter than the tube, the 2 upper shortest, meeting together, long, triangular. The pods are 5-8-seeded, hairless, longer than in the last, linear, the upper entire, rather bent down at the end. The seeds are rounded, dark-brown and yellow, half as large as in the last, and the hile half as long, round to oval. The plant is 1-3 ft. high, flowering from June to August, and is a herbaceous annual.
The habitat of this plant is hedges, cornfields, waste places. The habit is as in the last. The plant is, however, hairy (hence hirsuta). The leaflets are not so large, in 6-8 pairs, linear, lance-shaped, blunt, with a short point. The stipules are 4-lobed. The stalks bear 1-6 flowers, and are as long as the leaves, the ultimate ones straight, the flowers smaller, pale-blue, the standard not notched. The calyx-teeth are equal, as long as their tube, the 2 upper meeting, awl-hke. The pods are 2-seeded, hairy, rarely smooth, staikless, shorter, oblong, blunt, the upper entire, nearlv straight, and prominent at the end. The seeds are round, flattened at the border, red with dark spots, smooth. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering between June and August, and is a herbaceous annual.
Common Hedge Vetch (Vicia sepium, L.) - The habitat of this plant is hedges, woods, and copses. The habit is climbing or trailing, the lower part of the stem weak and thin. The leaves are hairy, the leaflets egg-shaped, lance-shaped, blunt, in 4-8 pairs, smaller upwards on the leafstalk, membranous. The stipules are half arrow-shaped, entire or divided. The flowers are in a raceme, nearly stalkless, axillary, purplish, 2-6-flowered, the stalks shorter than the calyx-teeth. The calyx-teeth are unequal, shorter than their tube, the 2 upper curved upwards, hairy. The upper part of the style is hairless, or nearly so, bearded. The pod is stalked, hairless, erect, linear to oblong, beaked, black, 6-10-seeded. The seeds have the hile linear, extending two-thirds round the seed. The plant is 6 in. to 3 ft. high, flowering from May to August, or as late as November, and is a herbaceous perennial.