Reproducing by seeds and underground root stocks.
Stems 40cm-2m long, weak, wiry, trailing on the ground or climbing on nearby objects.
Flowers bluish-purple, pea-like, about 12mm long, often 30 or more crowded together on one side of a long bare stalk; seedpods pea-like, 10-25mm long by 4-6mm wide, partly flattened, light brown, containing 2 to 8 rounded to oval reddish-brown seeds; seeds 2.5-3mm across and marked with a prominent, long, whitish or reddish-brown scar. Flowers from early June to late autumn.
Tufted vetch has a spreading underground rootstock.
Tufted vetch occurs throughout Ontario in cultivated fields, pastures, waste places, roadsides and gardens.
It is distinguished by its spreading underground rootstalks, compound leaves with 8 to 12 pairs of leaflets and branching tendrils, many flowers clustered on one side of a long stalk, and its flattened, brownish seedpods containing up to 8 rounded seeds, each with a scar extending Â¼ to 1/3 of the way around it.
Tufted vetch A. Base of plant B. Top of flowering stem C. Seedpods
Tufted vetch seedling
Tufted vetch leaf. Note the tendrils at the end of the leaf.
Tufted vetch flower.
Tufted vetch seedpods.