Yellow Kidney Vetch flowers (Anthyllis vulneraria) growing on dunes

Kidney Vetch on the Sand Dunes

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Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria) cloaked the sloping surface where the sand dunes lay adjacent to residential buildings in Swansea Bay. The first flush of yellow or orange flowers on this clover-like dune plant were already going over and seed heads were forming (8 June 2022). Sometimes this species bears a red flower (var. coccinea). The flowers occur in paired, kidney-shaped heads from May to September. The rare Small Blue Butterfly (Cupido minimus), the smallest butterfly in the UK, lays its eggs on kidney vetch, where the sometimes cannibalistic larvae subsequently develop. I will look out for those on my next visit.

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