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  Crown vetch  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
crown vetch Coronilla varia

Crown vetch is a low-growing, herbaceous perennial native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It was introduced into this country in the 1950s for erosion control purposes. The leaves are dark green and pinnately-compound. The small, pink-white flowers are borne in upright clover-like clusters from June to August. Crown vetch is a prolific seeder and readily invades prairie and other open communities where it forms a dense blanket of vegetation that smothers out native plants. Crown vetch grows statewide in Illinois and currently threatens the survival of one of the rarest plants in Illinois.

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