Purple Vetch – Identification

Q: Can you identify this hideous weed that has invaded my garden? Any help that you can provide to identify it and eliminate this evil scourge would be very helpful.

A: It’s purple vetch, Vicia americana. This legume has been used as a forage for cattle. It also was once an ingredient in lawn seed mixes because it grabs nitrogen from the sir and converts it to plant food.

Due to its twining nature, this plant can be a real nuisance in the garden.

Control it by spraying with organic herbicides when small or with glyphosate (Roundup, etc) when it is larger.

If it is snaking among and over your ornamentals, hand pull it now and make a note to control it when it is small next April.

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