Thursday, April 15, 2010

Purple Vetch (Repost)

Purple Vetch

Vicia benghalensis

Family: Fabaceae

Note: Some photo sites list Purple vetch as the same thing as American Vetch (Vicia Americana), but the American Vetch appears to have a much smaller cluster head.


This is a repost from 2007. These are starting to emerge mid-April with some force, so I repost now, even though the patches may not be as thick as some shown here.

Travel down any Arkansas's Highway in April and May and you are bound to see patches of Purple Vetch, lifting from the grass like violet waves.

As is, Purple Vetch is a member of the larger pea family (ie, legume) and has nitrate fixing qualities (as do peas, peanuts, clover etc.) . As such, Purple Vetch is sometimes used in rotation with other crops as a ground cover and soil aid.

For agriculture applications of Vetch with rice see:

For more on the Fabaceae (pea) family see:

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