Anthyllis vulneraria

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Anthyllis vulneraria
Illustration Anthyllis vulneraria0.jpg
1885 illustration[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Anthyllis
Species: A. vulneraria
Binomial name
Anthyllis vulneraria

Anthyllis vulneraria [4] (common kidneyvetch, kidney vetch,[5] woundwort[citation needed]) is a medicinal plant[6] native to Europe. The name vulneraria means "wound healer".[7]


This species includes numerous subspecies (which some authors elevate to the role of separate species). A very incomplete list is as follows:

  • A. vulneraria subsp. abyssinica (Sagorski) Cullen
  • A. vulneraria subsp. alpestris (Kit.) Asch. et Gr.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. baldensis (Kerner) Becker
  • A. vulneraria subsp. busambarensis (Lojac.) Pign.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. carpatica (Pant.) Nyman
  • A. vulneraria subsp. forondae (Sennen) Cullen
  • A. vulneraria subsp. iberica (W.Becker) Jalas
  • A. vulneraria subsp. maura (Beck) Lindb.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. polyphylla (D.C.) Nyman
  • A. vulneraria subsp. polyphylla (D.C.) Nyman × affinis Brittinger ex Kerner
  • A. vulneraria subsp. praepropera (Kerner) Bornm.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. praepropera (Kerner) Bornm. × adriatica Beck
  • A. vulneraria subsp. pulchella (Vis.) Bornm.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. vulneraria L.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. vulnerarioides (All.) Arcang.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. vulnerarioides (All.) Arcang. × bonjeanii Beck
  • A. vulneraria subsp. weldeniana (Rchb.) Cullen
  • A. vulneraria subsp. weldeniana (Rchb.) Cullen × tricolor Vukot.
  • A. vulneraria subsp. weldeniana (Rchb.) Cullen × versicolor Sagorski
  • A. vulneraria subsp. valesiaca (Becker) Guyot


Anthyllis vulneraria reaches 5–40 centimetres (2.0–15.7 in) of height. The stem is simple or more often branched. The leaves are imparipinnate, glabrous or with scattered hairs on the upper face and silky hairs on the underside. The flower heads are spherical in shape and 10–20 millimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long. The flower are yellow in almost all sub-species, with the typical irregular shape of the flowers of legumes. Flowering takes place between June and September. The fruit is a legume. The fruits ripening takes place from July to October.

Kidney vetch is the food plant of the small blue butterfly larvae and the leaf miner, Aproaerema anthyllidella.[8]


Flower of Anthyllis vulneraria
Flower of Anthyllis vulneraria
Flowers of Anthyllis vulneraria
Leaves of Anthyllis vulneraria

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This plant is sporadic throughout Europe, from Iceland to the Mediterranean, in Asia Minor up to Iran, in North Africa and in Ethiopia. It is naturalized in North America. It prefers the dry grasslands and rocky environments with calcareous soil, up to 3000 m of altitude.


  1. ^ illustration from Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany
  2. ^ Conti F, Guglielmone L, Pennesi R, Bartolucci F. (2016). "Typification of the name Astragalus vulnerarioides, basionym of Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. vulnerarioides (Fabaceae), and notes on its distribution". Phytotaxa. 261 (3). doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.12. 
  3. ^ "The Plant List entry for Anthyllis". The Plant List. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden. 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Anthyllis vulneraria at USDA PLANTS Database
  5. ^ "BSBI List 2007" (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  6. ^ Anthyllis vulneraria at Plants For A Future
  7. ^ Wolfgang Hensel, 350 Plantes médicinales (french edition: Delachaux et Niestlé SA, Paris, 2008, ISBN 978-2-603-01531-5; German edition 2007 Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co, Stuttgart, Wolfgang Hensel, Welche Heilpflanze ist das?)
  8. ^ Kimber, Ian. "843 Aproaerema anthyllidella". UKMoths. Retrieved 15 April 2014.