Anthyllis vulneraria ssp corbierei   Kidney Vetch RRR DD N Endemic

Anthyllis vulneraria ssp corbierei flower Anthyllis vulneraria ssp corbierei hairy stem Anthyllis vulneraria ssp corbierei leaves

There are five sub species of Anthyllis vulneraria (carpatica, lapponica, corbierei, polyphylla and vulneraria) and although Stace casts some doubt upon the authenticity of these and whether they are genuinely separable, Roberts, in his detailed Anglesey Flora has identified this plant as growing on Anglesey cliffs north of Rhosneigr. The descriptions of the sub species vary a little but this one, with its patent hairs (see photo) and distinctly fleshy leaves was growing amongst other Anthyllis vulneraria ssp vulneraria. Ordinary Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria ssp vulneraria) has adpressed hairs (only visible using a hand lens) and non fleshy leaves. The hairiness of the sub species corbierei is quite distinctive and a hand lens is not required to see patent hairs on the stems.

The problem with this sub species is that when you look at the whole population of Anthyllis vulneraria you can find both sub species on the South Stack cliffs and all forms in between as well. There is no distinct break between the two and it really looks like and ecological variation rather than a sub species.

Tim Rich found the same and reported that in 2001 in BSBI's Watsonia: PDF file

The most frequent records for this species are found in Anglesey but it is also found in Cornwall and Scotland - it is however a rarity and a British Isles endemic.

Anglesey, South Stack grasslands 31st May 2008

Added on 4th June 2008, corrected 19th Oct 2009, updated 27th Feb 2010, updated Se3 24th April 2010, updated 28th February 2012

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict