Common vetch (Vicia sativa) is a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a legume, meaning it is a member of the pea family. The plant has compound leaves that are made up of several small leaflets, and it produces small, purple or white flowers. The stem of the plant is typically covered in fine hairs.
In terms of size and growth rate, common vetch can grow to be anywhere from 8 to 40 inches tall and can spread to about 16 inches wide. It is a fast-growing plant, and it can be differentiated from similar plants by its hairy stem and compound leaves.
Common vetch prefers well-draining, fertile soil and full sun. In order to cultivate it successfully, a grower may need to provide the plant with adequate water and nutrients. It is winter hardy and can tolerate frost.
Common vetch is not edible for humans, but it can be used as a cover crop or forage for livestock. It can also be used as a nitrogen-fixing companion plant in vegetable gardens. It is not known to have any medicinal uses.
In terms of its value for wildlife, common vetch can provide food and shelter for a variety of insects, birds, and small mammals. It is a popular plant for bees and butterflies, and it can attract a range of beneficial insects to the garden.