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VICIA caroliniana

Image of Vicia caroliniana

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

VICIA caroliniana

Plant Common Name

Carolina Vetch, Pale Vetch

General Description

The delicate Carolina or wood vetch is a North American wildflower that extends from Ontario, Canada down to the southern United States. Its small, fine vetch flowers are borne on stalked clusters and come in shades of white and purple-pink. Flowering occurs from late-spring to midsummer. The rambling plants have fine compound leaves with tendrils at the leaf tips, which allow them to cling to grasses and other plant life in moist open woods and thickets. It self-sows non-aggressively by seeds produced in small pods.

This is not a plant with a lot of ornamental value, but if cultivated it would grow best in partial sun and moist, fertile soil with average drainage. It is a deciduous perennial that will survive several years before declining. Like most legumes it is nitrogen fixing. Cultivated specimens are best grown in American woodland gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 11

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green, Light Yellow, Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes