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Hairy vetch
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A species of Vetches, Also known as Winter vetch
Botanical name : Vicia villosa Genus : Vetches

Hairy vetch, A species of Vetches
Also known as:
Winter vetch
Botanical name: Vicia villosa
Genus: Vetches
Add to My Garden
Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa)

Description

Hairy vetch is often grown as a cover crop, or to provide forage or fodder for animals. However, use caution when planting and check your local regulations, as this plant is considered an invasive species in many states in the U.S. and several other countries.
Plant Type
Herb
Bloom Time
Spring, summer
Flower Color
Purple
White
Pink
Blue
Lavender
Leaf Color
Green
Blue
* Disclaimer: Content feedback CAN NOT be used as any basis for EATING ANY PLANTS. Some plants can be VERY POISONOUS, please purchase edible plants through regular channels.

General Info

Name story

Hairy vetch
It is a plant native to some parts of Europe and western Asia. It is a legume and it is grown as a forage crop, fodder crop, cover crop, and green manure. As the stem is featured with hair, it is called hairy vetch.

Symbolism

I Cling To Thee, Shyness

Usages

Garden Use
One of the best uses of hairy vetch is planting it as a green manure crop to add nutrients to the soil for a vegetable garden. this plant fixes nitrogen from the air, making this crucial plant nutrient available to other crops after the hairy vetch is cut and tilled into the soil. The dense foliage also adds considerable amounts of organic matter to the ground when it is used as green manure.

Is hairy vetch invasive?

Hairy vetch is not only an invasive weed with strong rampancy but also a flower plant. As a potential pollutant for crop seeds, it can also poison mammals and poultry. It is a mildly poisonous plant and similar to peas, likely to be eaten by mistake. Please pay attention to it.

Is hairy vetch poisonous to livestock?

The whole plant of hairy vetch has toxicity to humans, dogs, cats, and all livestock. Pay special attention when grazing to avoid poisoning in horses and livestock.

Is it a Weed?

Hairy vetch can be found on every continent of the world. It's very adaptable, able to withstand frost, drought and flood, and therefore flourishing in various environments. It usually grows in natural pasture, farm fields, wasteland or by roadside. Hairy vetch can be quite troublesome - it's a potential contaminant to crop seeds, a weed to agriculture or environment, and a toxin source to mammals and poultry.

Toxicity

Hairy vetch could be ingested by mistake because its fruit is similar to the pea. It is a less toxic plant, but it can cause poisoning if consumed in large quantities. Hairy vetch contains some chemicals that prevent absorption of essential nutrients, thus long-term consumption will lead to inadequate nutrition, causing minor or even serious health problems. Please do not eat it, and seek medical advice if adverse reactions occur after being ingested by mistake.

Toxicity in Animals

The seeds of hairy vetch can cause poisoning when consumed by animals, including cattle, horses and poultry. Symptoms of poisoning include dermatitis, cough and even cause death. Please keep the animals away from it, and contact the veterinarian timely or send animals to the pet hospital if adverse reactions occur after being ingested by mistake.

Environmental Threats

Hairy vetch is native to Europe, but it is still considered a foreign or invasive species in some European countries (such as Belgium, The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain).

How to Control it

Best weeding time: before fruition
  1. Removal: Grab the root of hairy vetch and pull it out, followed by cleaning out the remaining roots in the soil to prevent its regrowth. Then, fully remove its climbing stems, which often twines around other plants. Caution needed when handling.
  2. Pruning: Use sharp gardening scissors to cut its stems. Prune the parts as close to ground as possible.
  3. Chemical control: Choose a herbicide targeting this plant and use it repeatedly to effectively contain hairy vetch.
  4. Burning: If it doesn't climb on anything inflammable, you can burn it off with fire. Fire is an effective way to contain this plant.
Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa)
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