vetch, common

COMMON NAME: Vetch, common
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Vicia sativa
FAMILY: Fabaceae
LIFECYCLE: Annual
FEATURES: Common annual vetch species. Trailing, prostrate growth habit developing a dense smothering
ground cover. Stems glabrous, green, thin. Leaves pinnately compound 5 to 8 cm in length with
10 to 16 leaflets. Leaflets linear with pinnate venation. A single tendril extends from the end of
the leaf used for climbing. Flowers solitary, purple with prominent banner wings and keel.
DESCRIPTION: All vetch species are very similar and are most easy differentiated by comparing flowers. Common
vetch and purple vetch are very similar. Purple vetch produces a cluster of tubular purple flowers
while common vetch produces solitary larger purple flowers. Common vetch is often planted as a
winter cover crops for winter weed control and nitrogen fixation. Also planted along roadsides as a
ground cover.

Broad View Stem, leaf, and flower.

Broad View
Stem, leaf, and flower.