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How To Order: This species is sold in quantities of 3 lbs. If you order Qty: 1, you are ordering 3 lbs. Examples: 1 = 3 lbs, 25 = 75 bs.


Common Name: Hairy Vetch

Scientific Name: Vicia villosa

Native / Introduced: Introduced

Main Uses:

~Rangeland and pasture

~Erosion control

Height: 1 - 2 feet

Colors: White, purple, violet and pink flowers

Flowering Season: Fall

Soil Types: Most cool soils, prefers fertile loam soil           

Sun or Shade: Full sun, partial shade

Minimum Precipitation: 18 - 35 inches

Lifecycle: Annual or Biennial

Planting Seed Rate: 20+ lbs/acre

Estimated Seeds Per Pound: 20,000

Optimal Planting Season: Fall

Planting Depth: 1 - 1 1/2 inch

Stratification Requirements: None if planting in the fall

Category: Fobs



Hairy Vetch, a winter-active legume, predominantly exhibits growth during the fall season. This plant, which can be either annual or biennial, originates from Europe and western Asia. Its significant palatability to both wildlife and livestock makes it a valuable component of forage and cover crop systems. In cover crop applications, it is often sown in combination with rye, as its vining and climbing nature benefits from the support provided by the rye. Hairy Vetch is renowned for its remarkable nitrogen-fixing capabilities, contributing to soil fertility.


Hairy Vetch is recognized for its resilience, particularly in wetter soil conditions and colder winter climates, which sets it apart from other winter-active legumes. Its adaptability to such conditions makes it an ideal choice for erosion control and the restoration of disturbed soil, further highlighting its role in sustainable agriculture and land management practices.



NRCS Plant Profile:

NRCS Plant Fact Sheet:


Photo Credit: Melissa McMasters

Hairy Vetch


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