Cow Vetch

Cow Vetch

(aka. Bird Vetch, Cat Press, Tinegrass, Tufted Vetch)

Vicia cracca

Classification

  • Family: Fabaceae (Legume/Pea Family)wild pea vivia cracca

 

Cow Vetch is a climbing vine with purple flowers from the legume family that can be planted in pastures for cattle and other livestock to feed on.  Plowing it under enriches the soil with nitrogen content as legumes have a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria in their root nodules.

Blooms

May-August-

Size

  • 6′

Flowers

  • flower spikes/racemes have 20-70 pea-type the flowers on one side
  • purple flowers (may also appear pink or blue)
  • 1/2-3/4″ (1.3-2 cm)
  • Pea-type flower: 2 bottom petals (keel), 2 side petals (wings), one upper petal (banner of standard)

Fruit

  • pod
  • 3/4″ (2 cm)

 

Leaves

  • divided/compound
  • pinnate
  • 19-29 leaflets
  • leaflets: 3/4-1 1/2″ (2-3.8 cm)
  • 2 tendrils at the end of the leaf

Habitat

  • fields
  • side of the road
  • grasslands

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Biodiversity Exposed