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Forage Identification: Hairy vetch

Department of Plant Sciences

Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth)

Winter annual. More winter tolerant than Common vetch. Well suited to sandy soils, but it does not tolerate drought. More acid tolerant than most legumes.

Hairy vetch

Growth Habitat:
Winter annual. Erect.

Hairy vetch

Plant Characteristics:
Pinnately multifoliolate terminating in a tendril; small, pointed stipules; pubescent leaflets elliptical to lance shaped. Blue-violet 20-32 florets in long racemes. Compound leafs with narrow leaflets.

Hairy vetch flower

Seed Characteristics:
Spherical shape, mottled-brown, black, gray.

Hairy vetch seeds

Important Identifying Characteristics:
Hairy vetch has a vine structure and its stems grow from 2 to 4 inches in length. Blue-violet 20-32 florets in long racemes.

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

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