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Purple Crown Vetch Securigera varia

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Coronilla varia
Phonetic Spelling
kor-o-nil-a VAR-ee-uh
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Crown vetch is a vining spreading wildflower native to Europe, Asia, and Africa in the Fabaceae (legume) family.  In the US and Canada, it has been used for erosion control in the 70's and 80's but has become invasive in many states including the mountains of NC, and is difficult to eradicate once established. It is toxic to humans and horses and other non-ruminants but is tolerated by cattle, goats, and sheep and is considered a good hay forage plant. The tough roots will spread quickly and cover an area preventing other plants from growing.  

The plant will grow 1-3 feet tall with pink and white flowers in 1-inch round clusters that are present from early summer through fall. The leaves are delicate-looking compound leaves with 12-25 leaflets. It spreads by rhizomes and seeds. It will tolerate part shade to full sun and will grow in nearly any type of well-drained soil. It needs basically no fertilizer and is drought-tolerant. 

This is an invasive plant. Please choose a native plant instead.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant insect or disease problems.  This plant has weedy tendencies and is invasive in some locations. Please consider planting native plants like Carolina vetch (Vicia carolina).

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#lilac#white flowers#weeds#pink flowers#weedy#high maintenance#erosion control#fast growing#aggressive#European#long bloom time#rhizomatous#problem for horses#meadows
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#lilac#white flowers#weeds#pink flowers#weedy#high maintenance#erosion control#fast growing#aggressive#European#long bloom time#rhizomatous#problem for horses#meadows
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Securigera
    Species:
    varia
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used to make an insecticide
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Creeping
    Dense
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an angular seedpod about ½–2" long. with 1-7 segments. It is constricted between each segment and ends in a long pointed beak.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Pink and white, pea-like flowers in a head-like cluster arise from leaf axils; upper dilated petals with side petals that are often whitish. Clusters are 1 inch across and contain 10-25 individual 1/2-inch long flowers on 6 inch stems.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    2-6 in. alternate compound leaf that is pinnately divided into 15-25 opposite leaflets. The leaflets are sessile, oblong to ovate with rounded base and tip. The tip may have a short needle-like tip. Leaflets are 3/4 inch long and 1/4 inch wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Grooved, angular stems that are trailing to ascending and form mats. Usually glabrous but may have a few hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    In large quantities can cause paralysis or even death
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    coronillin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Seeds
    Stems