Vicia angustifolia Reichard. - Blackpod vetch.

Taxonomic position.

Family Leguminosae Endl., genus Vicia L


Vicia sativa L. subsp. nigra (L.) Ehrh.
Narrow-leaved vetch.

Biology and morphology.

Annual with scrambling and climbing growth habit. Stems almost glabrous up to 90 cm tall. Slender taproot system with numerous lateral branches. Leaves compound pinnate with 5-6 pairs of opposite leaflets and 1 terminal tendril. Leaflets narrow, linear, 2,5-3,0 cm length, 2-3 mm width. Stipules small, arrow-shaped, with some sharp toothes. Flowers borne singly or in pairs on short peduncles arising at the base of the leaves, blue to purple, large (to 2 cm length).
Seed pods linear, narrow (4-6 mm in width), contain 10-12 round or angulated small (2,0-2,5 mm diameter) seeds, mainly black. Self-compatible plant, cross-pollinated mainly by bees. Blossoms June-July, seeds ripening July-August. 2n = 14.


The European part of former USSR, Crimea, Caucasus, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan and Middle Asia.


Occurs in different places: fields, meadows, pastures, woodsides, roadsides, riversides. Adapted to a range of soils but not acidic, poorly-drained soils. Prefers moderately fertile soils pH 6,0-7,0.

Utilisation and economic value.

Short-term catch crop. Rapid growth rate. Sprawling growth form but grows upright when sown with a companion cereal, e.g. commonly with oats and to a much lesser extent with barley or wheat. High nutritive value. Protein-rich, highly acceptable feed for different classes of stock. Valuable constituent of vetch/cereal mixtures. Utilized for hay or silage, particularly arable silage, from cereal/vetch or cereal/pea/vetch mixtures. Can be grazed by a range of livestock, including zero grazing (green fodder cut and carried). Lax grazing necessary in order to leave the basal axillary buds which are the regrowth sites. Highly acceptable as grazed or conserved forage. Agronomic characters are similar to those of Vicea sativa.


Brezhnev D. D., Korovina O. N. 1980. Wild relatives of the cultivated plants of flora of the USSR. - L.: Kolos, 376 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of cultivated plants. Vicia. 1999. Repjev S. I. (ed.). - SPb.: VIR, Vol. IV, part 2 - 492 pp. (in Russin).
Flora of the European part of the USSR. 1987. Phyodorov A. A. (ed.). Vol. VI. - 254 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of Kazakhstan. 1961. Pavlov N. B. (ed.). - Alma - Ata: AN KazSSR, Vol. V. - 515 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of Siberia. 1994. Polozhiy A.B., Malyshev L.I., (ed.). - Novosibirsk: Nauka, Vol. 9. - 280 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of Tadzhikistan. 1978. Ovchinnikov P. N. (ed.). - L.: Nauka, Vol. V. - 678 pp. (in Russian).
Flora of the USSR. Genus Vicia. 1948. Schischkin V.K., E.G. Bobrov (ed.). Vol. XIII, M.-L.: AN USSR , p. 406 - 475. (in Russian).
Galushko A. I. 1980. Flora of Northern Caucasus. A field guide. - Rostov - na - Donu:, Vol. 2. - 350 pp. (in Russian).
Grossheim A. A. 1952. Genus Vicia. Flora of the Caucasus. - M. - L.: Academy of Science of the USSR, Vol. V. - p. 380 - 398. (in Russian).
Hulten, Eric and Magnus Fries. 1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer.
Nikitin V.V. Geldihanov A.M. Field Guide of Plants of Turkmenia. L.: Nauka, 1988 - 680 p.

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