Horseshoe Vetch

£2.25£6.00 ex.VAT

Hippocrepis comosa

Common Name: Unshoe – the – Horses

Flowers May to July

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Named after its u-shaped seed pods, this distinctive wildflower apparently smells like Stilton cheese!

Horseshoe vetch is a member of the pea family, so displays bright yellow, pea-like flowers and seed pods. Look for this low-growing plant on chalk grasslands

The perennial Horseshoe vetch is an essential plant for the Chalk Hill and Adonis Blue butterflies as their caterpillars feed solely on it; it is also used by the Dingy Skipper. It is a low-growing plant, with yellow pea-like flowers on chalk and limestone grasslands with short turf. The common name is thought to come from the shape of the seed pods, which are twisted and have horseshoe-like segments.

Its mystical nickname was ‘unshoe-the-horse’ due to the belief that it had the power to unshoe horses if they tread on its seedpods. The real reason is more likely to be that horses could lose their shoes on the rough terrain where the plant grows.


Additional information


Module Tray of 9, Pots


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