Vicia spp.

Life cycle

Climbing or trailing annual, biennial or perennial vines.


Alternate, pinnately compound with several pairs of opposite, narrowly oblong leaflets. The terminal leaflet is modified into a branched, twining tendril used to climb.

vetch tendril
Twining tendril of vetch.


Ascending, climbing or trailing stems are herbaceous but may become woody with age.

vetch leaf
Pinnately compound leaf of vetch.

Flowers and fruit

Blue, purple or reddish pea-like flowers are borne on short stalks in the upper leaf axils or found crowded along one side of long, bare stalks. Fruit are variously sized pea-like pods.

vetch flower vetch pod
Vetch flowers (left). Pea-like pods of vetch (right).


Seeds or rhizomes.

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