E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Vicia villosa Roth
Shaggy Vetch (hairy vetch; Slender Vetch; winter vetch; woolly vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gordon Neish  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19465)

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Distribution of Vicia villosa
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Species Information

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Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems trailing to climbing, 0.5-2 m long/tall, spreading long-hairy.
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 10 to 20, linear-lanceolate to oblong, pointed to rounded at the tip, 1-3 cm long; tendrils well developed, branched, grasping; stipules entire or toothed, 5-12 mm long.
Inflorescence a dense, axillary, mostly 1-sided raceme of (10) 20 to 60 pea-like flowers, the racemes generally longer than the subtending leaves; corollas reddish-purple to two-toned violet and white, 12-18 mm long; calyces long-hairy, 1/3-1/2 the length of the corollas, the tube lopsided-swollen on upper side at the base, the upper teeth shorter than the lower.
Pods, oblong to elliptic, glabrous, 2-3 cm long; seeds several.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, fields, clearings and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in extreme S BC, rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vicia villosa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 560 694 1050
Slope Gradient (%) 0 32 49
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
100 199 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(6), PP(7)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References