I have this Vicia in my garden, I grew it from seed 3 years ago and I've never been able to find its full botanical name. It looks like a bush vetch Vicia sepium to me but I'd like to know if anyone can positively identify it for me please.

Thumbnail by Baa
Milo, IA(Zone 5a)

Baa: I don't have a clue of what the plant is. But it is absolutely stunning!!!!!! Love the pic.

Hi Debby

It flowers for 2 months and is covered in bees the whole time its flowering. Its also a huge plant now its spread is 3ft and heigh is 2.5ft in fact its almost as invasive as the bluebells but hey there are worse looking weeds in the garden.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

It is very pretty. How much sun does it need?

Hi Angel

It grows in woodland mainly and this particular one is in a north facing garden on pure clay soil. I know the parent plant (down by the local river) lives entirely in shade during the summer and is just as big as this one.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

Baa, I would love to trade you something for some of it! I have a north facing heavy muddy area on the side of my house. It's ok if it is invasive. I can put up some barriers or put it in a pot. It is really pretty though and I would love to get some bees in here to help some of the other plants along. If you are interested then send me an email and we will see what we can work out. :-)

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

This looks like the crown vetch planted along the highways here in NC. I had some in a backyard once... tried to remove it but the root structure was a mess... daunting task and never did get it all out!

Hi Darius

Crown vetch here (England) is Coronilla and this is definately a Vicia. I have a crown vetch and yes the root system is extensive but doesn't move well so I've just left it where it is.

Cedar Rapids, IA

Baa, I don't know what your plant is either but it is lovely. What is the purplish flower at the bottom of the photo? The two plants together are a stunning pair.

Thank you all for your kind words, its purely nature rather than expert planting by me. Its Spanish bluebell which has spread everywhere but since this is a wild flower garden it doesn't look out of place. Honey lilies (Nectaroscordum siculum, green and pink flowers) grows through and flowers above the vetch and Red Valerian (Centranthus rubra 'alba') just behind. In July the Ladies bedstraw grow through it too adding a faint splash of yellow and the alpine strawberries fruit just underneath, but one of the best things about this plant is the snails and slugs don't like to eat it LOL.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

Ok Baa, since it is not feasable to send me some overseas :-) then I suppose I better go take cuttings from up the street, lol. This is the stuff that I have been watching all spring to see how it blooms. I love the fern looking foliage and was hoping it would bloom with something nice. Come to find out the stuff I have been watching is exactly what you have. I looked it up in my book and it does not say anything about being invasive. What has everyone else found? Should I keep it postted or is it ok to plant it along the top of a retaining wall beside my peonies? My books indicates it does well from cuttings. The first year will need to be in a pot anyway I suppose so I can have better control over it as it recoups. It really is pretty though.


Had you been in the UK or Ireland I'd have gladly sent you a plant (its seeded everywhere), what does your book name it as? Today I went for a walk and found a similar plant with a pink flower, unfortunately its illegal to remove it from the wild, so I may have to wait for the seeds and yet another couple of years before it germinates LOL. I hope your local plant is the same so you can share such a beauty in your garden too.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

I looked it up under Coronilla. I don't see a pic of that particular one but there is a discription under C. vaia (Crown Vetch) that matches it. I just used the posts above to determine where to look. It says it has white, pink and purple flowers. It also says it is used for erosion contol and bank planting like posts above mention. The pink version you saw could possibly be Penngift, which is the same thing but a specific named variety and it says it has a neater habitat with creeping stems and pink flowers.


The plant I have and the one I have seen are definately not coronilla, the flowers are held differently, they are in a circular fashion like a crown. The more I consider it the more I think the one pictured is a Vicia sepium or bush vetch.

Crown vetch is a very showy plant and well worth a place in anyones garden (well ok my garden at any rate lol). Some of the species are from southern europe and may be a little on the tender side during wet winters.

If you like the crown vetch then a Lotus uliginosus or Greater Birds foot trefoil is also worth a place. They have bright yellow flowers that can be seen from quite a distance.

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