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  Cow vetch  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
cow vetch Vicia cracca


Cow vetch, also known as tufted vetch, is a native of Europe. It is found throughout Illinois. This plant may attain a height of two to three feet. The compound leaves have eight to 12 pairs of narrow, oval leaflets. The stem and leaves are "hairy." Flowers are produced from May through August. The small violet-blue flowers are clustered on one-sided spikes. Cow vetch grows in thickets, fields and roadsides. This plant may escape cultivation and spread in the wild, taking habitat from native plants.

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