Tufted Vetch


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Related to Tufted Vetch: bush vetch

Tufted Vetch

 

(Vicia cracca), a perennial herbaceous plant of the genus Vicia of the family Fabaceae. The tall, branched stem is up to 1.5 m high. The paripinnately compound leaves have five to 20 pairs of linear or oblong-ovate leaflets, which have apical tendrils that cling to surrounding herbs. The flowers, which range in color from blue-violet to light-blue (rarely white), are in multiflorous racemose inflorescences. The fruit is a bean with four to eight seeds.

Tufted vetch grows in Eurasia, North Africa, and, as an import, in North America. It is found almost everywhere in the USSR but mainly in the forest and forest-steppe zones. It grows on meadows, among shrubs, along forest edges, in cleared forests, and near dwellings; it sometimes grows as a weed among grain crops. Tufted vetch is a valuable fodder grass, readily eaten by livestock as pasturage and hay. The plant is a nectar-bearer. The bitter taste of its seeds is caused by the presence of the glycoside vicianin.

REFERENCES

Kormovye rasteniia senokosov i pastbishch SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hay meadows are typically on fertile, neutral soils, and feature plants like knapweed and meadow buttercup, nitrogen-fixing legumes like red clover, birdsfoot trefoil and tufted vetch and many grasses such as crested dog's-tail, sweet vernal grass and meadow foxtail.
JIM BRADY found tufted vetch still flowering in Prescot, where a red admiral butterfly was on the wing last week, and Frank Richmond enjoyed kingfishers at Mill Dam and Higher Lane, Rainford.
Abundant wild flowers include marsh and spotted orchids, lousewort, yellow rattle, bird's-foot trefoil, meadow vetchling, tufted vetch, devil's-bit scabious, betony and knapweed, which attract hosts of bees and butterflies such as ringlets, meadow and hedge browns, small skippers and common blues.