Vetch, American

Botanical Name Vicia americana
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun
Preferred Sites Upland/Grassland
Bloom Period May-August
Flower Color Purple


American Vetch, also known as purple vetch, is a perennial legume that measures up to 18 inches in height with a climbing behavior of growth. Its purple flowers are very showy during its May-August bloom period, making it a heavily utilized species by pollinators. American vetch utilizes a deep tap root which allows it to survive in drought conditions. It can be found throughout North America, especially west of the Mississippi, in many different soil types and precipitation ranges. Being a legume, it has the ability to fixate nitrogen in the soil and is a great plant for soil health.

A fall seeding at a depth of 1-2” should provide a good stand. Planting in a mixture of rigid stem species will allow the vetch to climb as it likes to do. Monoculture seeding rates range from 25-35 pounds per acre. A reduction in seeding rate should be used when planting in a mixture.

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