Common Vetch (victa sativa)


A native wild annual herb Plant, with small delicate violet purple flowers, that can be seen from April – September, often found growing on grassy meadows in hedgerows and gardens.

Common Vetch can also be identified by the noticeable long thin branching stems and oval leaves, which are made up from 3 to 8 pairs of leaflets, on the ends are thin tendrils which it uses to climb surrounding plants.

Tendrils on ends of leaves of Common Vetch wrap around neighbouring plants

The Tendrils on end of Leaves, help Common Vetch to climb neighbouring plants

Common Vetch as a Cover Crop

In some countries Common Vetch is grown as cover crop for agriculture, often referred to as “Green Manure” and used as a natural way to enrich the soil with Nitrogen. It is also used for its qualities in suppressing weeds in cereal crops, vineyards and Orchards.

Common Vetch a meadow wildflower, small pink or purple flowers long stems

Common Vetch (victa sativa) a Spring Meadow Wildflower

Plant Information

  • Name: Common Vetch (victa sativa)
  • Group: Fabaceae – Pea family
  • Type: Annual
  • Similar appearance to: Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa)
  • Flowering: April – September
  • Position: Sun or Semi shade
  • Height: around 50cm
  • Larval food plant:/
  • Nectar plant: (to be updated)
  • Photographed at: Urban Butterfly Garden, lincs 18th April 2015
  • Note: Liked by black ants who seem to tend the plant rather than damage it.
© Urban Butterfly Garden 2010-2024