Native perennial with pale pink papilionaceous flowers. Rare butterflies grow up there, such as wood white, some blues, and clouded yellows. It used to be a popular ornamental plant. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.

SKU: N006

6,00 13,00 

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About the species

Polish name: varicolored chickpeas

Latin name: Coronilla varia syn. Securigera varia

Family: legumes Fabaceae

Status in Poland: native, quite common

perennial plant
pale pink
about 30–100 cm


A perennial plant with two types of shoots, imparipinnate leaves and flowers gathered in head-type inflorescences.

Underground shoots in the form of thin, but very strong, strongly branching rhizomes, longer than the above-ground stems. Aboveground shoots in the form of highly branched decumbent or weakly climbing stems.

The leaves of the crownvetchs are imparipinnate, composed of 5-10 elliptical, acuminate leaves with small separate stipules.

Single papilionaceous flowers, pale lilac or white-pink, clustered 10-20 in head-shaped inflorescences, growing as a whole in the leaf axils. A single crownvetch flower is characterized by a dark lilac or deeply pink tip of the keel, a light pink corolla measuring 10-15 mm, and white wings.

The fruits are obtuse square pods, ascending in the infructescence. Inconspicuous seeds, red or red-brown, very hard, deeply dormant.

Additional information


It grows in many types of soil. Likes light, dry, and warm places. It is perfect for steep slopes of highways and railway tracks.

The crownvetch is a great species for butterfly gardens and city meadows.

As with all small-seeded fodder legumes, also crownvetch seeds require scarification, otherwise they will stand over in the ground.

Interesting facts

crownvetch were grown more eagerly in the past than today. It was an important forage, medicinal and ornamental plant. It was used to calm the heart rhythm or as a diuretic drug. Afterwards, its use in pharmaceuticals was almost abandoned due to its harmful side effects.

As an ornamental plant, it has lost its popularity due to its crazy expansiveness in gardens and the overwhelming other flowers.

However, it remains an important species for preserving and embellishing embankments.

Crownvetch in seed mixtures:

Crownvetch in seed mixtures:

Use Value

It is the host of the larvae of butterflies: Dingy Skipper, wood white, Réal’s wood white, the yellows: eastern pale, pale, clouded, Berger’s, and the blues larvae: Reverdin’s, chalkhill, Adonis, green-underside, Meleager’s, common, silver-studded.

Crownvetch is more and more often included in seed mixtures for bee pastures and flower margins, imitating old thermophilic thickets of the Trifolio-Geranietea sanguinei class.. The protection of the rest sparse field margins and shrubs and the establishing of new strips with such vegetation contribute to reducing the pollination crisis, protecting honey bees and wild pollinators, especially bumblebees, and protecting butterflies and spiders.

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