Herb: Sweet Vetch

Latin name: Hedysarum boreale

Family: Leguminosae

Edible parts of Sweet Vetch:

Young tender roots - raw or cooked. Sliced and eaten raw, boiled, baked or added to soups. A sweet carrot or liquorice-like flavour.

Description of the plant:


10 cm
(4 inches)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Calcareous gravels and rocky slopes.

Propagation of Sweet Vetch:

Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in the spring. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring. Great care is needed since the plant dislikes root disturbance.

Cultivation of the herb:

Calcareous gravels and rocky slopes.

Medicinal use of Sweet Vetch:

None known

Known hazards of Hedysarum boreale:

The sub-species H. boreale mackenzii is said to have a slightly toxic root, but no mention about toxicity for this species has been found.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.