Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca)
Copyright: Fred Miller
(aka Blue Vetch, Tufted Vetch, Bird Vetch)
Cow Vetch is an excellent source of nectar for bees and butterflies. The plant grows to a height of two to three feet with flowers growing in clusters on long stalks.
The flowers range from blue-violet to purple in color and bloom late spring through late summer. In early August the flowers drop off and pea-shaped seed pods form, varying in color from light to dark brown.
Cow Vetch is appreciated for its erosion control and enriching nitrogen-fixing properties and is often used as a forage crop for cattle. Since it often crowds out native plants it is often considered an invasive weed and may not be available for sale.
Cow Vetch is a Host Plant for:Wild Indigo Duskywing, Orange Sulphur, Gray Hairstreak, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Crossline Skipper, and more
Cow Vetch is a Nectar Plant for:Baltimore Checkerspot, Clouded Sulphur, Delaware Skipper, and more
Cow Vetch Specifications:
Color(s): Blue-violet, purple flowers
Sun Exposure: Sun
Average Height: 2 ft. to 3 ft.
Average Spread: 3 in. to 5 ft.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: 4 to 6
Note: Fertilizes itself and other plants around it