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Vicia sativa (Common vetch)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.5m
Max height
1.5m
Max spread
1-2 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Vicia sativa

Other names

Common vetch, Tare, The vetch, Garden vetch, Haba del campo, Orobos, Spring vetch, Voederwikke, Winter tares

Genus

Vicia Vicia

Species

V. sativa - V. sativa is a trailing or climbing annual with pinnate, mid-green to blue-green leaves and tubular, purple-pink flowers from mid-spring to late summer followed by long, thin, green pods.


Vicia sativa is: Deciduous

Habit

Climbing

Toxicity

The seeds of some Vicias contain cyanide compounds and are toxic to humans and animals if eaten.

Flower

Purplish-pink in Spring; Purplish-pink in Summer

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Pruning

Vigorous climber which can cause "strangling" of smaller plants.

Propagation

Pre-soak seed for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing in situ.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Vicia sativa (Common vetch) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1.5m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Ground Cover, Low Maintenance, Wallside and trellises

Cultivation

Grows best in moist but well-drained, alkaline to neutral soil in full sun but will tolerate a wide range of conditions. Suitable for use as a green manure.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Vicia sativa

Other names

Common vetch, Tare, The vetch, Garden vetch, Haba del campo, Orobos, Spring vetch, Voederwikke, Winter tares

Genus

Vicia Vicia

Species

V. sativa - V. sativa is a trailing or climbing annual with pinnate, mid-green to blue-green leaves and tubular, purple-pink flowers from mid-spring to late summer followed by long, thin, green pods.

Native to

Mediterranean

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Climbing

Toxicity

The seeds of some Vicias contain cyanide compounds and are toxic to humans and animals if eaten.


Colour

Flower

Purplish-pink in Spring; Purplish-pink in Summer

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn

General care

Pruning

Vigorous climber which can cause "strangling" of smaller plants.

Propagation

Pre-soak seed for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing in situ.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Vicia sativa (Common vetch) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1.5m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Ground Cover, Low Maintenance, Wallside and trellises

Cultivation

Grows best in moist but well-drained, alkaline to neutral soil in full sun but will tolerate a wide range of conditions. Suitable for use as a green manure.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Vicia sativa (Common vetch)

Common pest name

Lima-bean pod borer; Pea pod borer

Scientific pest name

Etiella zinckenella

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Moth pest of peas and beans intercepted in the UK on plant produce with some interceptions now being made on pepper. Unlikely to pose a significant threat; as would not survive UK winters outdoors and suitable hosts are not grown in protected cultivation. Maintain a watching brief for any reports of E. zinckenella on peppers; especially if from Europe and/or glasshouses.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Vicia sativa (Common vetch)

Common pest name

American serpentine leaf miner; chrysanthemum leaf miner

Scientific pest name

Liriomyza trifolii

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Regulated pest already subject to review at the EU level (2013). Regularly intercepted in the trade.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Common vetch (Vicia sativa)

These plants were a suprise and I didn't know what they were. I like to think they are wild flowers rather than weeds! I think they look like an orchid with pea foliage. Samantha read more

Vicia sativa

Common vetch can be found on grassy waysides and hedgebanks. It was formerly cultivated as a fodder crop, the seeds being used as pigeon food, and has become naturalised in many places, although it… read more

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