Found in bright sunny open areas, in everything from clay to loamy soil - especially waste areas (roadsides) Crown Vetch is a newbie to our area being introduced in the 1950s as a ground cover used to prevent soil erosion. It can now be found in 47 of the lower 48 states (somehow North Dakota missed this trend). Its beautiful pinkish purple flowerheads growing along the trailing stems, lined with 6inch pinnules dotted with small leaflets makes it very apparent that this is of the pea family. Fruiting pods are not edible.
The plant itself, when in bloom, is often browsed by cattle and deer and makes for a good hay (although it takes much longer to dry than traditional hay).
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.