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Blue Vetch

About the Blue Vetch
Blue vetch is a common wild plant and wild flower. It is a member of the Fabaceae or pea/bean family. It is also known as the Cow Vetch or the Tufted Vetch. The flower takes on a blue and later purple hue and is liked by bees and butterflies due to the juicy nectar and pollen. It is used as a controlled crop cover up to put back the nitrogen into the soil and further reinvigorate it. The flower is four inch long and ranges from lilac to bluish colour. It possesses a bilateral symmetry and is composed of one wide upper petal surrounded by two petals along the side, being flanked by another two which are joined at the base.

The flower typically blooms between May to August, It is a common flower in the North American continent and one can find the flower lining the roads and fields in this region. It is widely seen in various areas of the continent like the United States from New Jersey, Kentucky, Upstate South Carolina, Iowa northward and northwestwards, southern Canada and is also seen in Europe and Asia. These flowers grow best in the dry soils, fields and waste lands. The vine can grow to heights of above 1.2 meters long. The American vetch is slightly larger than the blue vetch. but fewer of them, ranging from three to nine,hang from their loose raceme.
 

Blue Vetch Flower
Vetch flowers are small in size and do have root nodules where the bacteria are able to take up the nitrogen which is incompatible with the body chemistry. The vetch can climb over other plants and grows wild in abundance. Flowers are four inch long and grow downward in a one sided spike. The calyxis oblique, small and with unequal teeth. The leaves are corolla butterfly-shaped and consisting of standard, wings, and keel, all oblong. It has 10 stamens where one is detached from the other nine. The stem is slender, weak, climbing or trailing and ranges from 2 to 4 feet long. The leaf is tendril bearing with thin, slender and oblong leaflets. The fruit is a soft pod around one inch long and five to eight seeded. The flower is arranged along one side of the cylinderical spike atop a long and slender stalk. The flower takes on a blue and later purple hue

and it is liked by bees and butterflies due to the juicy nectar in it. It is used as a controlled crop cover up to put back the nitrogen into the soil. The loss of the vetch species in the wildlife has led to loss of food of the honeybees, solitary bees and bumblebees and can create an ecological imbalance.
 

Leaf
The leaf is pinnately compound and up to twenty five leaflets are bunched together. There are two tendrils at the end of each lead. Hairs along the stem are pressed flat alongside it. The vetch flowers can be found neatly placed on one side of the flower stalk and it can grow to heights of upto two meters. Its natural habitat is in the wild areas. Though it generally grows in the sunny shade, it can also grow in the shady areas. Common or Pebble Vetch is grown for fodder. In the common vetch, one or two light blue flowers are grown in the axils of the leaves.

 


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