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Cow Vetch
Vicia cracca

Other Names: Blue Vetch, Tufted Vetch

  • 1.5 cm (0.5 inch) long head
  • bilateral symmetry – 1 wide upper petal, 2 petals along the side, and 2 on the bottom that are joined at their base
  • lilac to bluish petals
  • arranged along one side of cylindrical spike atop a long, slender stalk
  • pinnately compound – 14-24 leaflets that are each 2.5 cm (1 inch)
  • 2 tendrils at the end of each leaf (see photo to right)
  • hairs along stem are pressed flat against it
  • in most parts of North America
  • found in fields and along roads
Flowering Time
  • May - August
  • this vine can grow up to 1.2 meters (4 feet) long
  • exotic from Eurasia
  • the fruit is a pea-pod (see photo to right - the photo was taken in late september, therefore the fruit appears brown)
Name Origin
  • N/A
Cow Vetch flower

Cow Vetch leaves and flowers - note tendrils

Cow Vetch fruit