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Vicia americana - Muhl.

Common Name American Vetch, Mat vetch
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 4-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp or gravelly slopes, thickets and meadows[43].
Range N. America - Alaska to Ontario and New York, south to Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Vicia americana American Vetch,  Mat vetch


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Vicia americana American Vetch,  Mat vetch
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Vicia americana is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Lathyrus diffusus. Orobus diffusus

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed  Seedpod  Shoots
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked[105, 155, 161]. The tender seeds are eaten by the N. American Indians[212]. Both the mature seeds and the immature seedpods can be used[257]. The pod is about 3cm long and contains 4 - 7 seeds[235].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Ophthalmic  Salve  Stings

The leaves have been rubbed in the hands and applied to spider bites[257]. An infusion of the crushed leaves have been used as a bath for treating soreness[257]. An infusion of the plant has been used as an eyewash[257]. An infusion of the leaves has been used by women as a love medicine[257].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

String

The stout roots have been used for tying[257]. A dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form - used as fertilizer or to improve mulch. Nitrogen Fixer.

Special Uses

Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position if the soil is reliably moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is best grown in semi-shade[200]. A climbing plant, attaching itself to supports by means of tendrils[212]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. Growth habit is a single or multiple shooting vine from a crown [1-2]. Herbaceous. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in spring or autumn.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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12

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Muhl.

Botanical References

43235

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Sat Nov 16 02:40:46 2002

My father told me the flowers are edible

raina smith   Tue Nov 15 2005

why is it endangered

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