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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, Cultivated, Native of Mediterranean Region"
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Description

This annual wildflower is 1-2½' tall, branching occasionally. It is semi-erect, using its tendrils to cling to adjacent vegetation. The stems are light green, ribbed, and sparsely pubescent. Alternate compound leaves about 3-5" long occur at intervals along each stem; each leaf is even-pinnate with 5-6 pairs of leaflets and a branched tendril at its tip. The petioles of the compound leaves are short. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of dentate stipules about ¼" in length. Individual leaflets are about ¾" long and ¼" across; they are oblong in shape and smooth along their margins with short pointed tips. Each leaflet has a short petiolule (basal stalklet) about 1 mm. long. at its base. The upper leaflet surface is medium green and hairless, while the lower surface is pale green and slightly pubescent along the central vein. The middle to upper leaves produce 1-2 flowers from their axils; these flowers are nearly sessile (pedicels about 1 mm. long). Individual flowers are about ¾" long, consisting of 5 purple petals and a light green tubular calyx with 5 teeth. The petals are arranged in a pea-like floral structure consisting of a banner, 2 wings, and a keel; the latter encloses the reproductive organs. There is usually a patch of white at the base of the banner (uppermost petal). The teeth of the calyx are linear-lanceolate and similar to each other in length. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer for about 2 months. The flowers are replaced by elongated seedpods about 1½-3" in length that are hairless. Initially, the seedpods are green and flattened, but they later become dark brown and more swollen as the seeds enlarge. Each seedpod contains 5-12 seeds. Individual seeds are subgloboid (somewhat flattened) and smooth. This wildflower spreads by reseeding itself.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

Climbing or sprawling annual herb to 80 cm. Leaves paripinnate with 3-8 pairs of leaflets, the rhachis usually terminating in a branched tendril; leaflets linear to oblong or obcordate, mucronate. Inflorescence subsessile with 1-2(-4) flowers per inflorescence. Corolla 10-30 mm, light reddish-purple, bluish or mauve. Pod 25-50 mm, brownish-black.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Derivation of specific name

sativa: cultivated, not wild
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

"Maharashtra: Nasik Tamil Nadu: Dindigul, Nilgiri"
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Range and Habitat in Illinois

The non-native Common Vetch is occasional in both northern and southern Illinois, while in the central part of the state it is largely absent (see Distribution Map). However, it is likely to spread to all areas of the state in the future. The distribution map combines information for both Vicia sativa sativa and Vicia sativa nigra. Common Vetch was introduced into North America from Eurasia for agricultural purposes. Habitats consist of cropland (mainly wheat fields), fallow fields, weedy meadows, roadsides, areas along railroads, and miscellaneous waste areas. Sometimes Common Vetch is deliberated planted as a source of forage for farm animals. Habitats with a history of disturbance are strongly preferred.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Global Distribution

Temperate and many subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

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Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Vicia sativa L.:
Afghanistan (Asia)
Bhutan (Asia)
Canada (North America)
Chile (South America)
Colombia (South America)
Greenland (North America)
Guatemala (Mesoamerica)
India (Asia)
Japan (Asia)
Kyrgyzstan (Asia)
Kazakhstan (Asia)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
Mongolia (Asia)
North Korea (Asia)
Nepal (Asia)
Pakistan (Asia)
Russian Federation (Asia)
South Korea (Asia)
Tajikistan (Asia)
Turkmenistan (Asia)
Taiwan (Asia)
United States (North America)
Uzbekistan (Asia)
Venezuela (South America)
Caribbean (Caribbean)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Vicia sativa Guss.:
United States (North America)
Canada (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Worldwide distribution

Widespread in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Distribution: Pakistan; Kashmir; India; Orient, Europe; Russia; Far East.
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Nepal.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Annual herb, pubescent to subglahrous, decumbent, erect or climbing. Leaf pinnately compound, petiole less than 1 cm long; leaflets 4-18, 1-4 cm long, 2-15 mm broad, linear to lanceolate to oblong or obovate, acute, obtuse or emarginate, thinly pubescent or glabrescent; stipules 3-8 mm long, semisagittate, dentate: tendril generally branched. Flowers 1-2 rarely 3, axillary, subsessile or shortly pedicellate. Calyx 7-20 mm, pubescent, teeth 3-11 mm long, subequal. Corolla pale pink, crimson, purplish violet, rarely white. Vexillum 7-25 mm long. Fruit 2.3-6.5 cm long, 4-8.5 mm broad, narrowly oblong, pubescent becoming glabrous when mature, 6-12-seeded.
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Physical Description

Annual, Herbs, Taproot present, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems or branches arching, spreading or decumbent, Stems less than 1 m tall, Climbing by tendrils, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Stems or young twigs sparsely to densely hairy, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules persistent, Stipules free, Stipules cordate, lobed, or sagittate, Stipules toothed or laciniate, Leaves compound, Leaves even pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets alternate or subopposite, Leaflets 5-9, Leaflets 10-many, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Leaves hairy on one or both surfaces, Flowers solitary in axils, or appearing solitary, Flowers in axillary clusters or few-floweredracemes, 2-6 flowers, Inflorescence axillary, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx gland-dotted or with glandular spot, Calyx gibbous, inflated, or spurred, Calyx hairy, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals white, Petals pinkish to rose, Petals blue, lavander to purple, or violet, Banner petal ovoid or obovate, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing petals auriculate, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Keel tips obtuse or rounded, not beaked, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Style sharply bent, Style hairy, Style hairy on one side only, Style with distal tuft of hairs, Fruit a legume, Fruit stipitate, Fruit unilocular, Fruit freely dehiscent, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit exserted from calyx, Valves twisting or coiling after dehiscence, Fruit beaked, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit hairy, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black, Seed surface mottled or patchy.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The non-native Common Vetch is occasional in both northern and southern Illinois, while in the central part of the state it is largely absent (see Distribution Map). However, it is likely to spread to all areas of the state in the future. The distribution map combines information for both Vicia sativa sativa and Vicia sativa nigra. Common Vetch was introduced into North America from Eurasia for agricultural purposes. Habitats consist of cropland (mainly wheat fields), fallow fields, weedy meadows, roadsides, areas along railroads, and miscellaneous waste areas. Sometimes Common Vetch is deliberated planted as a source of forage for farm animals. Habitats with a history of disturbance are strongly preferred.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The flowers are cross-pollinated by bumblebees and other long-tongued bees. Various insects feed destructively on the foliage, flowers, or developing seedpods of Vicia spp. (Vetches). These species include the caterpillars of such butterflies as Colias eurytheme (Orange Sulfur), Colias philodice (Clouded Sulfur), Everes  comyntas (Eastern Tailed Blue), Glaucopsyche lygdamus couperi (Silvery Blue), Leptotes marina (Marine Blue), and Strymon melinus (Gray Hairstreak). It also includes caterpillars of the skipper, Erynnis funeralis (Funereal Duskywing), and the moth, Caenurgina chloropha (Vetch Looper). Vetches are food plants of Acyrthosiphon pisum (Pea Aphid), several leafhoppers (Empoasca spp.), and the thrips, Sericothrips cingulatus. The foliage of Common Vetch is edible to mammalian herbivores
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Apion pomonae feeds on Vicia sativa

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / pathogen
Botrytis dematiaceous anamorph of Botrytis fabae infects and damages live leaf of Vicia sativa

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Bruchus pisorum feeds within seed of Vicia sativa

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Bruchus rufipes feeds within seed of Vicia sativa

Foodplant / parasite
Erysiphe pisi var. pisi parasitises Vicia sativa

Foodplant / gall
Megoura viciae causes gall of leaf of Vicia sativa

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous sporangium of Peronospora viciae parasitises yellowed leaflet of Vicia sativa

Foodplant / spot causer
mostly hypophyllous colony of Ramularia anamorph of Ramularia sphaeroidea causes spots on leaf of Vicia sativa

Foodplant / parasite
telium of Uromyces viciae-fabae var. viciae-fabae parasitises live Vicia sativa

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Population Biology

Frequency

Local
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl.Per.: July-August.
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Life Expectancy

Annual.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Vicia sativa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 7
Specimens with Barcodes: 15
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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© Info Flora (CRSF/ZDSF) & Autoren 2005

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

Common Vetch adapts to full or partial sun, moist to dry-mesic conditions, and a variety of soil types, including those that contain loam and clay-loam. The root system can nodulate and add nitrogen to the soil.  Most growth and development occurs during the cool weather of spring. Because this wildflower can reseed itself aggressively, it is rather weedy.
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Wikipedia

Vicia sativa

"Vicia heterophylla" redirects here, based on the plant described by Carl Presl. The plant thus named by V.N. Voroshilov is Vicia japonica as described by Asa Gray.

Vicia sativa, known as the common vetch, tare or simply "the vetch", is a nitrogen fixing leguminous plant. Although considered a weed when found growing in a cultivated grainfield, this hardy plant is often grown as green manure or livestock fodder. There is no firm evidence that this is the same as the "tare" in some English translations of the Bible (as in the "Parable of the Tares") – ryegrass (Lolium) is another candidate.[citation needed]

There are at least four subspecies generally accepted:

  • Vicia sativa ssp. cordata (Hoppe) Asch. & Graebn.
  • Vicia sativa ssp. nigra (L.) Ehrh.Narrow-leaved Vetch (= ssp./var. angustifolia, ssp. consobrina, ssp. cordata (Hoppe) Batt., ssp. cuneata, ssp. heterophylla, var. minor, var. nigra)
  • Vicia sativa ssp. sativa (= var. linearis, ssp. notata)
  • Vicia sativa ssp. segetalis (Thuill.) Arcang. (sometimes included in ssp. nigra)

Description[edit]

This is an annual herb, a distant member of the vine and pea family, with hollow, four-sided, hairless to hairy stems which can reach two meters in maximum length. The leaves are each made up of a few pairs of linear, lance-shaped, oblong, or wedge-shaped, needle-tipped leaflets up to 3.5 centimeters long. The pealike flowers occur in the leaf axils, solitary or in clusters of up to three. The flower corolla is 1 to 3 centimeters in length and whitish to bluish to red or bright pink-purple in color. The fruit is a legume pod up to 6 or 7 centimeters long which is hairy when new and smooth later. It contains up to 12 seeds.

Cultivation[edit]

When intended as fodder, the seed is sown densely, up to 250  kilograms per hectare. However, when grown for seed, less seed should be used; otherwise the crop will be too thick, reducing flower and seed production. When meant for seed, sowing is done early in the planting season for good returns; but, when for green food, any time in spring is suitable. Sometimes, a full crop can be obtained even when sown as late as summer, though sowing so late is not recommended.[citation needed]

After the seed is sown and the land carefully harrowed, a light roller ought to be drawn across, to smooth the surface and permit the scythe to work without interruption. Also, the field should be watched for several days to prevent pigeons, which are remarkably fond of tares, from devouring much of the sown seed.[citation needed]

Horses thrive very well on Common Vetch, even better than on clover and rye grass; the same applies to fattening cattle, which feed faster on vetch than on most grasses or other edible plants. Danger often arises from livestock eating too much vetch, especially when podded; colics and other stomach disorders are apt to be produced by the excessive loads devoured.

Cereal grains can be sown with vetch so it can use their stronger stems for support, attaching via tendrils.[1] When grown with oats or other grasses, the vetch can grow upright; otherwise its weak stems may sprawl along the ground.[2] Several cultivars are available for agricultural use,[3] and as for some other legume crops, rhizobia can be added to the seed.[2]

Pests that attack this crop include the powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe pisi, the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, the corn earworm (Heliothis zea), the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), and spider mites of genus Tetranychus.[2]

During the early 20th century a mutant of the common vetch arose with lens-shaped seeds resembling those of the lentil, leading to vetch invasions of lentil fields. D. G. Rowlands showed in 1959 that this was due to a single recessive mutation. The transition from traditional winnowing to mechanized farming practices largely solved this problem.[4]

History[edit]

Common Vetch has also been part of the human diet, as attested by carbonised remains found at early Neolithic sites in Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia. It has also been reported from predynastic sites of ancient Egypt, and several Bronze Age sites in Turkmenia and Slovakia. However, definite evidence for later vetch cultivation is available only for Roman times.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ FAO Animal Feed Resources
  2. ^ a b c FAO Crop Profile
  3. ^ Lloveras, J., et al. Varieties of vetch (Vicia sativa L.) for forage and grain production in Mediterranean areas.
  4. ^ Fred Gould. "The Evolutionary Potential of Crop Pests". American Scientist. 
  5. ^ Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf, Domestication of plants in the Old World, third edition (Oxford: University Press, 2000), p. 119.
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Notes

Comments

This cosmopolitan taxon is one of the most variable species. A number of infraspecific taxa are sometimes recognised. It is also cultivated as fodder.
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