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Vicia americana (American vetch)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Vicia americana

Vicia americana Muhl. ex Willd.

American Vetch, American Deervetch

Fabaceae (Pea Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A slender, climbing plant clinging to other vegetation or structures by slender, coiling tendrils at end of each leaf; loose racemes of 3-10 deep pinkish-purple to reddish-lavender pea flowers on stalks from leaf axils.

With showy flowers unusually large for the genus, this plant resembles many species of Lathyrus but is distinguished by the distribution of the hairs at the tip of the style. In Vicia the hairs usually surround the tip, resembling a shaving brush; in Lathyrus they are generally on the upperside, like a little hairbrush.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , DC , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MD , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , SD , TX , UT , VA , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: PE
Native Distribution: Throughout West; also in eastern Canada and northeastern United States.
Native Habitat: Open places in woods, road banks, and fencerows.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Vicia americana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vicia americana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vicia americana


Record Modified: 2021-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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