Vicia sativa Linn., Sp. P1. 736. 1753. Baker in Hook. f.,Fl.Brit.Ind.2.178. 1876 (excluding the variety); Ali in Bot.Notiser 120:48.1967.
Annual herb, pubescent to subglahrous, decumbent, erect or climbing. Leaf pinnately compound, petiole less than 1 cm long; leaflets 4-18, 1-4 cm long, 2-15 mm broad, linear to lanceolate to oblong or obovate, acute, obtuse or emarginate, thinly pubescent or glabrescent; stipules 3-8 mm long, semisagittate, dentate: tendril generally branched. Flowers 1-2 rarely 3, axillary, subsessile or shortly pedicellate. Calyx 7-20 mm, pubescent, teeth 3-11 mm long, subequal. Corolla pale pink, crimson, purplish violet, rarely white. Vexillum 7-25 mm long. Fruit 2.3-6.5 cm long, 4-8.5 mm broad, narrowly oblong, pubescent becoming glabrous when mature, 6-12-seeded.
Type: Herb. Linn. 906/20 (LINN).
Distribution: Pakistan; Kashmir; India; Orient, Europe; Russia; Far East.
This cosmopolitan taxon is one of the most variable species. A number of infraspecific taxa are sometimes recognised. It is also cultivated as fodder.