Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vetch Runs Wild

Vetch is considered a weed by most, or a wild flower. There are several varieties. I believe what grows here is common vetch, as opposed to hairy vetch, although as I look at more of my photos I think we have both. Some farmers cultivate vetch as a cover crop because it adds nitrogen to the soil. Most of what we see in vacant places has escaped this cultivation, and this vetch runs wild wherever conditions are right for its growth. It blooms in spring.

Vetch Runs Wild
Vetch Along Trail in Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic
The many vetches are all in the pea family and their flowers look like tiny sweet peas. They mix well with their  relatives, clover and lupine and other wildflowers in the spring for an attractive display. If I find them intruding on my garden, I usually let them live, since beneficial insects love them. Below you see vetch playing with its clover cousin.

Vetch Runs Wild
Vetch with Clover, © B. Radisavljevic

In the next  photo, vetch, clover, and lupine mingle. As you can see, lupine tends to steal the show when it appears. The wild grasses try to diminish them all by hiding them.

Vetch Runs Wild
Vetch with Clover and Lupine, © B. Radisavljevic

I think vetch looks best when accompanied by other members of its family. Alone, it is undisciplined and just runs wild, as you see below.

Vetch Runs Wild
Vetch Running Wild and Free, © B. Radisavljevic

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Vetch Runs Wild

Do you have vetch on your property? Is it welcome? Or do you consider it an intruder? Do you enjoy seeing it mixed with wildflowers in open spaces?

This is my twenty-second post for the 2016 AtoZchallenge, a Blogging Challenge for the month of April, 2016. My theme is plants, since this is a gardening blog. Here are links to the other posts if you missed them.

A is for Apple Blossoms
B is for Bottlebrush
C is for Carnations
D is for Daisy
E is for Elderberry
F is for Flowers
G is for Gazania
Hollyhocks are Edible
Irises Are Garden Survivors
Jupiter's Beard: A Mystery Finally Solved
Kale for Lunch
Lion's Tail - A Perennial Summer Burst of Orange
Miner's Lettuce is Tasty and Free"Naked Ladies" Bloom in August
Oleander through the Year
Plant Pests and their Predators: Aphids and Ladybugs
Quince Fruit from Blossom to Table
Roses Are Not Just Red
Sages Add Color and Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
Tansy and Fruity Teucrium Can be Garden Friends

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