[The Vetch of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Hairy Vetch, Tiny Vetch

Vicia hirsuta

Hairy Vetch, Tiny Vetch: Vicia hirsuta

The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence and pinnately compound upper stem leaves of hairy vetch. The leaves bear 6-9 pairs of narrow leaflets. Photographed at Catherine Creek, central Columbia River Gorge.......May 14, 2006.

Hairy pod of Hairy Vetch, Tiny Vetch: Vicia hirsuta The photo at right shows a close-up of the pod of hairy vetch, which is fairly densely covered with short hairs. The pods measure 8-10 mm long and are 2-seeded. Note also the narrow, awl-shaped clayx lobes that are about equal in length. Photographed at Catherine Creek........May 14, 2006.
Characteristics:

Hairy vetch is an annual weed with slender stems 30-100 cm long which recline along the ground or climb up through other foliage. The stems are strongly angled in cross-section and are glabrous to sparsely pubescent, as are the leaves. The pinnately compound leaves have 6-9 pairs of narrowly oblong to linear leaflets with squared off tips which measure 10-18 mm long (Note the photo above.). The stipules at the base of each leaf are small and cut into slender lobes.

The racemes are 3-10 flowered and found in the upper leaf axils. The peduncles are much shorter than the leaves and the corollas are turned to one side of the inflorescence. The pubescent calyx is 3 mm long with narrow awl-shaped calyx lobes about equal in length. The minute corollas are white to pale bluish in color and at most 4 mm long. The flattened pods (in cross-section) are 8-10 mm long and covered with minute hairs (Note photo at right.). They contain 2 seeds.


Habitat:

Hairy vetch may be found along roadsides, in waste areas, and in disturbed meadows or grazed areas.


Range:

Native to Europe, hairy vetch may be found west of the Cascade Mts. and into the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-1800' from near Crown Point eastward to the Klickitat River.


Close-up of the inflorescence of Hairy Vetch, Tiny Vetch: Vicia hirsuta

The photo above shows a close-up of the minute flowers within the inflorescence of hairy vetch as seen at Catherine Creek........May 14, 2006. The racemes are 3-10 flowered with the corollas typically crowded to one side of the inflorescence and the white to pale bluish corollas measuring at most 4 mm long.

Vetch, Tiny Vetch: Vicia hirsuta

Hairy vetch growing in in a weedy vernally moist area near Murrays Addition, northwest of The Dalles, Oregon.........May 14, 2012.

Paul Slichter