American vetch is a pretty native perennial legume that is widespread throughout most of the United States. American vetch has a loose cluster of showy lavender, magenta, blue, purple or violet pea-like flowers that bloom May-July, depending on elevation. It is a larval host plant for the Western tailed-blue butterfly and is attractive to pollinators, especially bumble bees. As a legume, American vetch has the ability to fix nitrogen into the soil. It grows 1′-3′ tall from a deep taproot but is also rhizomatous. It is usually found in deep, well-drained, porous loamy soil rich in organic matter, in mixed conifer habitat, oak woodland, or sheltered canyons. American vetch can grow as a mounded clump, but also has the ability to climb with tendrils. Just as non-native vetches are used as soil building cover crops, American vetch seeded in disturbed sites can also help restore degraded areas. American vetch provides browse and forage for many species of wildlife.
Seed Germination Instructions
No pretreatment required. Pre-soak the seeds in warm (not boiling) water for 24 hours then sow outside in fall to early spring.