Vicia cracca L.
Tufted Vetch (American Vetch; bird vetch)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

Photograph

© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #4417)


Map

E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Vicia cracca
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC

Vicia cracca ssp. cracca

Species Information

General:
Perennial herb; stems climbing or trailing, up to 2 m long, finely short-hairy to glabrous, angled and somewhat grooved.
Leaves:
Alternate, pinnately compound; leaflets 12 to 24, linear to lance-elliptic, abruptly narrowed to a pointed tip, 1-3 cm long; tendrils well developed, branched, grasping; stipules entire to toothed, 7-15 mm long.
Flowers:
Inflorescence an axillary, long-stalked, one-sided raceme of 20 to 70 densely packed, drooping, pea-like flowers, the racemes longer than the supporting stalks; corollas blue to reddish-purple, two-toned dark and pale, (8) 10-15 mm long; calyces 1/2 as long as the corollas, gradually rounded or slightly swollen at the base on the upper side, the tube 2-3 mm long, the upper pair of teeth short and triangular, the lower 3 much longer and narrower.
Fruits:
Pods, 1.5-3 cm long, glabrous; seeds 4 to 8.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Purple
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Vicia cracca

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

Avg

Min

Max

Elevation (metres)
604 0 1012
Slope Gradient (%)
18 0 65

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

281 120 335
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
D
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
14
Modal BEC Zone Class
PP

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CWH(2), ICH(1), IDF(1), PP(8)

Habitat and Range

Mesic fields, clearings, thickets and open forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in S BC, infrequent northward mostly E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia