Anyone know what this is?

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by Dahc, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

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    I have little wild vines everywhere and can't seem to find them in any online weed or plant ID pages.

    Here's a pic:
    http://diycountrylife.com/Misc/000_1866.jpg

    They get a little purple flower on them that must be pretty sweet. I never see any without ants trying to get to them. They get a seed pod that resembles a greenbean but only about 2" long and about 3/16" wide. The leaves are only about 1/4" wide and 3/8" long.

    Anyone?
     
  2. Bee_Rain

    Bee_Rain plays well with others

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    It almost sounds like beach pea but I don't think they bloom until summer. I couldn't really see the flower, is it bell shaped?
     

  3. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Looks like it could be in the trefoil family.
     
  4. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Viney habit with pinnately compound leaves, papilionoid legume flower - I'd say Vicia (vetches).

    Take that back since I guess those leaves are coming from woody branches?.


    Still looks like a legume though.

    Amorpha?

    Nah, if its herbaceous and those are tendrils I still go with Vicia. Flowers solitary or in groups?
     
  5. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

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    It looks like crown vetch to me, an excellent drought-resistant groundcover. Around here it creeps everywhere, but I wouldn't call it a vine. The highway department plants it on roadsides, it's good to prevent erosion. We wait until it grows about knee-high, then mow it down and it comes back without taking over an area.

    It might not be crown vetch
    - does it twine or cling?
    - is that a single or compound flower?
    - do the leaves close up at night, or when touched?
     
  6. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

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    I looked up some pics of vicia and it's definitely some kind of vetch. I saw flowers like this ones but the growth was different and I saw growth like this one but the flowers were different...lol.

    The flower is about 1/2" long and looks like two purple insect wings almost flat against each other.

    The bean is green and not black like the wide bean type.

    The leaves don't close when touched but I haven't looked at night.

    It uses little tendrels to cling to stuff.

    Is there any use for seeds from these things or are they edible?
     
  7. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

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  8. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    the flower is 'wrong" for Crown Vetch, and leaves do not appear to be 'fuzzed' enough. Stems a bit too smooth looking.
     
  9. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it is vetch.I think it looks like hairy vetch that grows here.Are the leaves kind of sticky feeling like velcro??
     
  10. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have that type vetch all over here too. My chickens and duck love it, especially when it has the little green seed pods on it.
     
  11. moonwild

    moonwild Well-Known Member

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    From My Herb Master CD.I think it is vetch/vicia and if so is edible!
    "Vetch" is a name applied to certain species of the Pea Family. If life were as simple as some of us wish it was, all plants called vetch would be in the genus Vicia, and no other plants would be called vetch. Alas, for simplicity: plants in at least five genera are so called. However, the Common Vetch, Vicia sativa, is indeed our most abundant manifestation, though not as showy as some less common species. It is the kind an ordinary garden usually has. Of course, seven other kinds of Vicia grow in Seattle, and some are almost as likely to pop-up in cultivated soil. Most vetches grow in sunny meadows or grassy areas.
    It's an annual herb of climbing habit, which is to say a weak little vine. From its root arise several angled stems, jointed, scrambling, supporting themselves by grasping with their delicate leaf tendrils whatever comes within reach. The tendrils are tiny, threadlike, and wrap tightly around the objects of their desire. The vetch leaves of 6 to 12 (16) leaflets are curiously nicked at the tips, in a manner suggesting bluntness from a distance, but proving pointed close-up. The leaves fold-up at night. Pairs of purplish-pink flowers are borne in the junctures of leaf and stem. Dark glands near these junctures attract ants. I cannot think of another common weed so likely to have ants, though garden plants which usually or often support ants are: Douglas fir, apple trees, peonies, and wild pansy (heart's-ease).
    Vetch flowers begin in May and continue a constant pace until the dry heat of summer and autumn stops them. You can find some blooming in March or November, but the chief season is as I've said. Following the flowers are flattish, 2 to 3 inch long pods, first green and tender, then drying brown-black; finally, spiraling apart in a burst, the shattered pods release their seeds.
    This vetch has simple needs. It grows even on sterile dirt, though is at its exuberant best in rich soil, with plentiful sunshine. Shade stunts vetch horribly. Nitrogen-fixing root swellings are easily viewed when you yank-up a vetch from the ground. Given good conditions, a vetch plant luxuriates and sends forth numerous long stems in all directions, making a substantial mass of tangled vegetation. When you weed-out such a vigorous plant, its tendrils sometimes break off and other times defiantly bring shredded bits of other plants with them. Fortunately, vetch lacks the rank stinking odor of some other viny garden weeds such as Bittersweet Nightshade and Wild Morning-Glory or Bindweed.
    In late summer it shrivels up, and after winter's frosts there is only a faded brown memory of its twining stems' former lushness. The seeds can sprout during any month, needing only the right amount of moisture to do so. It is not a serious pest because it's easily controlled, and causes little damage anyway. Indeed, it is not invariably regarded as a mere weed.
    Vetches grow in many parts of the earth. For example, two are native in Seattle. But Vicia sativa is European and was intentionally brought to North America since it is so useful as a cover crop, green manure, and for pasturage and hay-making. It's especially valuable in cool-weather areas. It's also called Spring or Pebble Vetch, Tare or Fitches, and is a cousin of peas, beans, clovers and alfalfa. The Fava, Greek or Broad Bean is a robust very close relative, Vicia Faba.
    I've rendered Common Vetch almost an endangered species in my own garden by eating it nearly to death! The growing tips are an irresistible treat, good in texture, OK in flavor and superb as protein and nitrogen sources. Just pluck them raw, shake off the ants, and eat them as is or in salads. Then, later, the tender young beans are also desirable eating, as are the seeds within. If you taste and like this vetch, be heartened: some less common kinds are even better: the flowers of a few are sweet delicacies, and the bountiful merit of Vicia nigricans ssp. gigantea is unparalleled. You will need, for safety's sake, to make positive identification before you eat because some Lathyrus species are superficially vetch-like but deleterious to eat. Lathyrus includes the Sweet Peas.
     
  12. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    I don't like vetch, and for that matter, several of the true clovers on slopes. At this time of year they tend to smother all other vegetation (perennial grasses), then when summer hits the dry down to nothing leaving bare ground. When a summer downpour hits you get erosion.

    Mowing would control them but the slopes are very hard to mow.