Common vetch, Tare, Narrow-leaved vetch, Garden vetch
Plant Description (Height/Habit/General Characteristics)
Habitat: cropland, roadsides, weedy meadows
Habit: annual wildflower, semi-erect with tendrils for clinging
Height: 1' - 2.5' tall
Alternate compound leaves. Leaves are pinnate with 5-6 pairs of leaflets and a tendril at the tip. Upper leaflet is green and the underside is pale green with short, fine hairs.
Photograph: Paul Slichter from http://science.halleyhosting.com
The middle to upper leaves form 1-2 nearly sessile flowers. The flowers range from pink to purple and have 5 petals and a tubular calyx with 5 teeth. They are pea-like with a banner, 2 wings and a keel.
Photograph: University of Wyoming http://www.uwyo.edu/plantsciences/uwplant/forages/legume/common-vetch.html
The flowers form small, hairless, elongated seedpods. They start green and flat and then become brown and swollen. There are usually about 5 to 12 seeds per seedpod. The plant reseeds itself.
Photograph: Krist www.feedipedia.org
Stems are hollow and slightly squared. They can be either hairless or lightly pubescent.
The roots are inoculated with nitrogen-fixing bacteria when grown in poor soil. Growing this plant during crop rotations can be useful for controlling weeds.
The pinnately compound leaves, the leaflet ends and the curling vine at the tip are all defining characteristics of the plant.
Collection Location on GGC's Campus
Found at the front entrance of H building nearest the parking lot. The are growing within the phlox.
These plants are native to Europe and parts of western Asia, such as Turkey and Syria. Below is the plant's range for North America.
- Some ancient societies, such as in the Mesopotamian era, incorporated common vetch in their diets.
- It was, and still is, grown in Europe as fodder for livestock. Common vetch was brought to North America by the Europeans for this sole purpose.
- It can be used as crop cover and natural weed control.
1. Daniel Zohary & Maria Hopf. 2000. Domestication of Plants in the Old World. Oxford University Press. p.g. 119. isbn: 978-0-19-850356-9 2. Heuzé V., Tran G., Baumont R., 2015. Common vetch (Vicia sativa). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. http://feedipedia.org/node/239 Last updated on May 11, 2015, 14:31
This Page Was Created By
Maggie Watkins; BIOL3310 Spring 2017