Red Kidney Vetch / Anthyllis coccinea
Clump forming frost hardy perennial legume ground cover
with bright red flowers for much of the year.
Fixes nitrogen, grows in poor soils and has a long history of being used
Best sown in late autumn through spring. Seedlings grow easily but take nearly a year to flower for the first time.
Seeds are small and flatish, sow by barely coving the seeds.
Some seeds are still in a protective skin, others are clean.
Approximate minimum seed count per pack
Vetch seeds should be sown in spring or autumn, either outside, where they are to flower, or in seed trays and covered lightly with compost. Germination can be improved by lightly rubbing the seeds between 2 sheets of sandpaper. This is known as scarification and helps break down the seed’s tough outer shell. Seeds are usually easy to germinate and the seedlings, which are quick to develop, can be pricked out and grown on, for planting out later in the year
Plants draw a wide range of insect life such as Bees, Butterflies and Ladybirds. Also known as 'woundwort', kidney vetch was used by traditional herbalists to relieve swelling and heal wounds, and to treat stomach and, unsurprisingly, kidney problems. It is also sometimes used in cough-relieving teas, in the treatment of frostbite and sore throat and for blood cleansing.