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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Vicia americana - American vetch

Other Common Names: America's vetch, purple vetch
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Fabaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Vining or trailing to 4 feet; clings to other plants with its coiling tendrils.
Identification notes: Vine-like. Flowers 1/2 to 1 inch long, purple, in leaf axils, banner, wings and keels, wings adhering to the keels, 2 to 10 flowers per stem. Pinnate leaves 6 to 16 narrow to oval, leaflets end in tendrils. Stipules toothed.
Height: To 4 feet


Habitat Description: Clearings in ponderosa and mixed conifer forests.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 5000 - 10000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pinkish to purple     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Pealike, to 1-1/4 inches long; 2 to 10 in loose cluster on stalk in leaf axil; followed by a pealike pod.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Tipped with clinging tendrils; leaflets 4 to 14, stiff, narrowly linear to linear-oblong, to 1-1/4 inches long, less than 1/5 inch wide; margins usually smooth; tips rounded, blunt, or abruptly pointed.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown   
Fruit Type: Pod
Seed Notes: Seed surface smooth, mottled or patchy.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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