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Wood Vetch, Carolina Vetch, Pale Vetch - Vicia caroliniana


Family: Fabaceae - Pea family Genus Common Name: Vetch Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Vine Herb
Vicia caroliniana - Wood Vetch, Carolina Vetch, Pale Vetch. Wood Vetch is an attractive mid-spring plant found in most of the eastern half of the United States except for New England. It grows up to about 2.5' tall, or you may call it long rather than tall, because as it grows it will sprawl along the ground or climb on other plants. It is endangered in New Jersey.

Found in:
AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

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Vicia caroliniana

Distribution of Vicia caroliniana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 14 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Pigeon Mountain - East (Rocky Lane), Walker County GA Date: 2012-March-18Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The flowers of Wood Vetch are carried in a loose raceme terminating stems arising from the leaf nodes.
Vicia caroliniana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County, GA Date: 2012-March-18Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The compund leaves alternate along the stem, and are pinnately compound.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Vicia caroliniana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-March-18Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The white flowers will usually have a touch of purple inside. The calyx normally will have a pinkish or reddish hue, matching some coloring on the otherwise green stems.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Vicia caroliniana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-April-24Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Wood Vetch sprawls or climbs on other plants. In the right-center part of this photo you can see several of the flattened seedpods.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Vicia caroliniana

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-March-18Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaflets are generally a bit less than an inch long. There will normally be 5 to 9 pairs of leaflets on each pinnately compound leaf. In my observation there will be a stipule at the base of each leaf.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Vicia caroliniana

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer