American vetch is a drought tolerant, climbing vine excellent for sunny and partially shady locations. It is a native plant and can be part of a wildlife seed mixture where native grasses and wildflowers are seeded together however, the cost of the seed usually prohibits its use in many application.
American vetch is a native, perennial, climbing vine that grows approximately 1 to 2 feet tall. It needs a support plant to grow up such as rye, alfalfa or wheatgrass. Each plant has a single stem. Tendrils emerge from the end of the multiple leaflets to help secure the plant to the climbing structure. The pinkish-purple flowers (3 to 10 flowers per stalk), appear in late spring and summer and give way to 1 to 1.5 inch pods about one month after flowering. Each pod contains two or more pea like brown seeds. American vetch spreads through rhizomes (roots that spread out from the parent plant and produce new plants).
American vetch prefers medium to finely textured moist to dry soils in full sun. It is widely distributed west of the Mississippi River and in the northeastern United States (USDA cold hardiness zones 4 through 7). American vetch tends to grow in open spaces especially around swampy woods, road banks, fencerows, borders, mixed forests, meadows, foothill canyons, and clearings.
- Type: Other Legumes
- Latin Name: Vicia americana
- Zone: 4, 5, and 6
- Height: 12" - 24"
- Sun/Shade Tolerance: 2 - Both
- Min. Precipitation: 10" Minimum
- Seeds Per Pound: 33,000
- Native/Introduced: Native
- Annual/Perrenial: Perennial
- Blossom Color: Purple
- Bloom Period: Spring and Summer
- Bloat: No
- Planting Rate: 25-35 lbs / acre
- Cold Hardiness: Hardy
- Variety Release Sheet:
- USDA Sheet: http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_viam.pdf
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