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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Gordon Neish     (Photo ID #19465)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

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.

SourceThe 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


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)
694 560 1050
Slope Gradient (%)
32 0 49

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

199 100 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 0 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia