Common Names:- Annual scorpion vetch, sickle vetch.

Synonyms:- Astrolobium scorpioides, Aviunculus scorpioides.

Meaning:- Coronilla (L) Little-garland, (the flower-heads).
                 Scorpioides (L) Curved like a scorpion's tail.
General description:- Prostrate to almost erect, low to short, hairless, bluish-
green annual.

Leaves:- Leaves simple or with three leaflets, the terminal leaflet up to 40mm
elliptical to rounded, much larger than the others.

Flowers:- Yellow, 4-8mm long, in stalked heads of 2-5, large petal sometimes
veined with brown.

Fruit:- Legume 20-60 mm, curved; segments 2-11, oblong, more or less straight,
obtusely 4- to 6-angled.

Key features:-

Habitat:- Olive groves, field margins, open dry shrubby vegetation , open coniferous
wood-land and road embankments. 0-1100 m.

Distribution:- Rather common throughout Greece. - Widespread in the
Mediterranean region ans eastwards to Iran. Widespread and common on Crete.

Flowering time:- Mid-Mar to June.

Photos by:- Steve Lenton                       

                         FAMILY AND GENUS DESCRIPTIONS


General description:- Trees, shrubs or herbs.

Leaves:- Alternate, rarely opposite, simple to 2-pinnate, stipulate.

Flowers:- Usually hermaphrodite, usually 5-merous. Sepals usually united. Petals
free or somewhat united (connate). Stamens usually 10, sometimes less than 10 or
numerous. Ovary a single, single-celled (unilocular) carpel; style 1.

Fruit:- A dehiscent (splitting open to release the seeds), 2-valved or indehiscent,
occasionally lomentaceous (a flat fruit, constricted between each seed) legume.
Seeds usually without endosperm.

A large number of species, both native and introduced, are cultivated for food, for
fodder and for ornament. Those most frequently utilized as food are to be found in
Cicer, Glycine, Glycyrrhiza, Lens, Pisum, Vicia and Vigna. The edible part is
usually the seed or legume, or both. Species of these genera and many others,
particularly in Anthyllis, Coronilla, Lathyrus, Lotus, Lupinus, Medicago, Melilotus,
Trifolium and Trigonella are cultivated for fodder on a large scale or are planted to
improve pasture.


General description:- Annual or perennial herbs or dwarf shrubs.

Leaves:- Imparipinnate, rarely simple or 3-foliolate; stipules various, free or

Flowers:- In axillary heads. Calyx bell-shaped (campanulate), more or less
bilabiate; keel acute; stamens in two bundles and united by the filaments

Fruit:- Legume, lomentaceous, terete or longitudinally ridged or angled, not
constricted between the segments.

Key features:-
1) Segments of the legume linear or oblong, straight or slightly curved.
2) Stamens diadelphous.
3) Leaflets not or very minutely glandular-punctate.
4) Legume lomentaceous, glabrous.
5) Corolla 4-8 mm.