Kidney Vetch (red)
Anthyllis vulneraria ssp. lapponica
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Kidney Vetch is a native perennial growing 8-15 cm in height and produces an abundance of yellow flowers between May and July. It attracts large numbers of bumblebees and is the larval foodplant of the Small Blue butterfly.
Sand-dunes, limestone grassland and open turf on S.-facing slopes are the typical locations for this prolific spring flower. It can fix Nitrogen and is suitable for light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. It cannot tolerate shade, prefers dry soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure. The flowers are a rich food source for bees, butterflies and and a range of other invertebrate groups. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.