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Forage Identification: Common vetch

Department of Plant Sciences

Common vetch (Vicia sativa L.)

Adapted to regions with mild winters. Grown as a summer annual in areas with cool summer temperatures. Adapted to well drained fertile soils. More acid tolerant than most legumes.



Common vetch

Growth Habitat:
Prostrate when sown alone, viney in mixtures. Smooth stems. Shallow taproot.

Common vetch flower

Plant Characteristics:
Leaves are pinnately compound with narrow leaflets and terminate with tendril. Smooth, oblong leaflets are tipped with a small, sharp point. Reddish purple flowers occur singly or as pairs in leaf axils.

Seed Characteristics:
Apple-green to greenish-black, browning with age.

Common vetch seed

Important Identifying Characteristics:
Pinnately compound leaves, leaflets tipped with small, sharp point.

Primary Uses:
Pasture, hay, silage (with small grain companion) and green manure.

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