Another winter annual or just a hard working weed?…

Hairy Vetch/fodder vetch-Vicia villosa Roth-is a winter annual reproducing by seed.It is a hairy legume-branching as far as 8′- used as a cover crop-i.e.,fodder- helping to protect the soil.In the cases I saw, it helps with bank stabilization.Vetch is tolerant of acid type soils and hardy to 10F.In addition it adds nitrogen to the soil.Hairy Vetch is has distribution throughout the temperate zones of both hemispheres with 150 species-25 in the US.To most who see this plant it is a weed-a plant out of place.But this is a cultural definition that ignores the reason it is here-helping hold down the planet.

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