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Weed Identification

hairy vetch

Family

Fabaceae

Scientific Name

Vicia villosa

Other Common Names:

winter vetch
fodder vetch
smooth vetch

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Vicia pseudocracca
Vicia ambigua
Vicia basycarpa
Vicia elangantissima
Vicia varia
Vicia microphylla

Habit

Erect or ascending vine up to 3 feet tall.

Leaves

Pinnate compound leaves arranged alternately along the stem. Each leaf has between 8 and 20 leaflets with each being about 1 inch long and pubescent.

Flower Seed Head

Small purple flowers develop on short stalks with 10 to 40 flowers per stalk.

Seed Fruit

Sperichal seeds from green to black in color that develop in small pods that look like other bean species about 0.25 inches in diameter. Pods have between 1 and 5 seed per pod.

Where Found

Fields, roadsides, pastures, waste sites

Growth Habit

vine

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

pencil

Dominant Flower Color

purple

Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

Varies: 
no hairs
has hairs

Leaf Shape

Varies: 
needle
lance

Leaf Arrangement

alternate

Leaf Margin

entire

Leaf Structure

pinnate

Leaf Stalk

Varies: 
none
shorter than leaf

Stem Hairs

no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure

Varies: 
fibrous
taproot

Life Cycle

summer annual

Ochrea

not present

Plant Type

Vine