A large and important family of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, including many difficult genera. 117 species have been reported from Corfu so far, but only a few species together with a short description are presented on this page.ANTHYLLIS - Kidney-vetches 2 (3) species in this genus are reported from Corfu.
Anthyllis vulneraria ssp. rubriflora (A. vulneraria ssp. praepropera) - Red kidney-vetch The red or sometimes purple-flowered subspecies of kidney-vetch. A herbaceous plant, often with a woody base. This species is widespread and can be found growing in grassy places or among rocks.
ASTRAGALUS - Milk vetches A genus with 2 (3) reported species from Corfu.
Astragalus monspessulanus - Montpellier milk-vetch, false vetch A low-growing plant with purple-red or violet purple flowers and compound leaves with 7 - 20 oval leaflets. The Montpellier milk-vetch is found growing on arid hills or rocky grounds in the mountains.
BITUMINARIA (Psoraleae) - Pitch trefoils Only 1 species found on Corfu.
Bituminaria (Psoralea) bituminosa - Pitch trefoil, bitumen pea A widespread plant found all around the Mediterranean and very common on Corfu. The flowers are violet-blue and clover-like in shape. The leaves, also clover-like with three leaflets, smell of tar when crushed. The pitch trefoil can be found on sandy and stony grounds all over Corfu.
CALYCOTOME Calycotme vilosa -
Cercis siliquastrum - Judas tree A small tree with vividly pink flowers appearing directly on the branches and on the tree trunk in spring, before or sometimes together with the kidney shaped leaves. The seed pods are reddish-brown and strap-like in shape. Sometimes the tree flowers again in the autumn. This is traditionally believed to be the tree that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from when denouncing Christ. The then pale flowered tree was, according to the legend, so ashamed that it blushed pink. However, the common name may also just suggest that the tree was once common in the hills of Judea.
DORYCNIUM - 3 species reported from Corfu. Genus characterised by having leaves with five leaflets.
Dorycnium hirsutum - Hairy canary-clover This is a hairy perennial or small shrub with white or pink flowers that is frequently found growing in grassy places or among shrubs in Corfu.
GLYCYRRHIZA Glycyrrhiza glabra - Liquorice
HIPPOCREPIS - Horseshoe vetch A genus of annuals or perennials with pinnate leafs and flowers in long stalked clusters and long segmented seed pods. The segments are either horseshoe shaped or rectangular. 4 species reported from Corfu.
Hippocrepis (Coronilla) emerus - Scorpion senna A yellow-flowered shrub with dark green leaves and long, slender seed pods found growing in shady places or in thickets.
Hymenocarpus circinnatus - Disk trefoil A hairy annual plant with small yellow flowers. The lower leaves are simple while the upper are pinnate. The seed pods are disk-like and often have scattered spines. Very common in fields and other grassy places on Corfu.
Lathyrus setifolius - Red pea A small or slender plant with narrowly winged steam and small orange-red flowers. The red pea can be found in grassy places, on waste ground and in the phrygana.
Lotus edulis - Edible lotus A low spreading species with yellow flowers borne either solitary or in pairs. The plant is slightly hairy, the pinnate leaves usually broader above the middle and the seed pod is inflated. Can be found on stony ground, on fields in the phrygana and along roadsides
Tetragonolobus purpureus - Asparagus pea A species with bright crimson flowers with a black keel and a large four-winged seed pod. The seed pods can be boiled and eaten. Asparagus peas are found along roadsides and on cultivated land.
Trifolium tomentosum - Woolly trefoil A small annual species with pink flowers and very characteristic woolly seed heads. The woolly trefoil grows in rocky places, along roadsides and on cultivated land.
Trifolium stellatum - Star clover Star clover is a easily recognized annual species with globular, stalked, seed heads, often with bright red calyx teeth, arranged as a star. This is a common plant found growing in dry or sandy places.
Trifolium subterraneum - Subterranean clover This clover is low growing, mat forming annual with small, white, stalk-less flowers that grows in sandy and gravelly pastures.
VICIA - Vetch A genus of annual or perennial herbs, often climbing or scrambling through the vegetation with the help of tendrils. The vetches are distinguished from the genus Lathyrus by its leaves which usually have more that three pairs of leaflets and the steams which usually are un-winged. 14 species are reported from Corfu.
Vicia hybrida - Hairy yellow vetchling The solitary and rather large flowers are either yellow or purplish and hairy on the back. The pinnate leaves have 3 - 8 pairs of oblong leaflets that are notched or blunt at the tip. A widespread plant on disturbed or cultivated ground, often in shady places.
Vicia lutea - Yellow vetch The yellow vetch has sulphur yellow flowers that often are flushed with purple and arranged in groups of two or three. The flowers are hairless on the back. The pinnate leaves have 3 - 10 leaflets. This species can be found on cultivated ground, in grassy costal habitats and on sand dunes.
Vica sativa - Common vetch
Vicia tenuifolia ssp. dalmatica - Bramble vetch
Vicia vilosa ssp. varia - Fodder vetch
SPARTIUM - Spanish broom A genus of only one species native to the mediterranean area but distributed and and naturalised around the world in areas with a mediterranean climate. Considered an invasive weed in many places.
Spartium juncea - Spanish Broom This is a large shrub with long rush-like steams and very few leaves. The flowers are large, bright yellow and sweetely scented. The Spanish broom grows on dry slopes, in the phrygana or in open woodland.