Down Garden Services


Common Vetch

Scientific Name: Vica sativa
Other name: Tare
Family: Fabaceae/Leguminosae (Pea Family)

An annual, spreading by seed, which is native to Europe, but not north and north-west regions. It scrambles through plants and hedges, holding on by tendrils which grow from the ends of the leaf stalks. The stems may or may not have short hairs and can reach up to a metre in length. The roots are fibrous and taper to a point so do not creep around (see picture).
Member of the Pea family, so fixes its own nitrogen in nodules on the roots and can be grown as an animal feed crop or as a green manure. When used as fodder excessive amounts can cause colics and other stomach problems. There is some archeological evidence that it was part of the human diet in south-eastern Asia.
The flowers occur from May to September in pairs at the leaf axils and are usually purple, but can be paler. The seeds develop in pea-like pods, which turn black when mature.
Height - up to 1 metre.
As it is an annual, pulling up the main root will eliminate it. There may be a reservoir of seed, but removing the current plants before the flowers mature will prevent more being produced.
Weedkillers to use;-
Glyphosate, systemic action, taken down into underground parts.

See also Bush Vetch and Tufted Vetch

Follow these links for further details on Weeds, Weed Removal and Weed Prevention.