Cow Vetch

Scientific Name: Vicia cracca
Family Name: Fabaceae

Flower: ½ inch (1.5 cm) long purple flowers that face downward. The flowers are tubular and grow in a 1 sided row down a long stalk.

Leaf: Compound leaf with 14 - 24 thin green leaflets, with a vine tendril at the bottom of each leaf.

Plant: Cow vetch is a delicate green vine that flowers from May to August and reaches a height of 4 ft (1.2m.).

Identifying Characteristics: The thin, delicate, green leaves with a vine tendril are the most identifying characteristic of the Cow Vetch.

Location: We found a dense patch of cow vetch growing on the Florida Yews in the "Fellowship Garden" that grows by the Goldfarb Library (coming from Shapiro Campus Center) at Brandeis University.

History and Comments: Cow Vetch is native to Eurasia. In the United States, it is often cultivated as a cover crop, but it has escapes cultivation and grows wild.

    Unless otherwise specified, all text, photographs, and drawings are Copyright (c) by Shu-Yee Chen and Deborah Hamer 2003. No part of this page may be reproduced without prior written consent of the authors.