Securigera varia (L). Lassen - Purple Crownvetch, Crown Vetch

Systematic position.

Family Fabaceae, genus Securigera L.


Coronilla varia L.

Biological group.

Perennial weed forming rootstocks.

Morphology and biology.

Stem herbaceous, rising, 30-100 cm in height, branchy. Plant glabrous. Leaves 7-12-paired; leaflets oval or elongate-linear, with a small apical spike. Racemes umbrella-shaped, 15-20-floral, located on flower stalks exceeding leaves. Pedicels are twice as long as cup. Corolla 12-13 mm in length; flag pink; wings and carina almost white, beak of carina dark red. Beans 4.5-8 mm in length, 2-2.5 mm in width, narrowed toward apices; surface of beans with longitudinal wrinkles. Seeds ovate-oblong, 3-3.5 mm in length and 1-1.5 mm in width. Seed scar round with white membranes and dark limb. Seeds red-brown, matte.


Southern and Middle Europe from Spain to the Balkan Mountains, to Germany and Belgium in the north; Northern Iran, Asia Minor, Syria; North America (introduced). On territory of the former USSR, the species is distributed in southern (steppe) areas of the European part, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia (mountains of Turkmenistan).


The species grows mainly on black-soils; on steeps, at roads and forest edges, between bushes, on dry and damp meadows, on limy soils.

Economic significance.

It is a dangerous weed, especially for southern areas where it litters all crops. High weediness is observed in crops of rye, oat, summer and winter wheat, etc., and in vineyards. Small particles of beans litter cereal grain, being hard to separate as they are similar to grain by size and shape. Control measures should be directed toward exhaustion of rhizomes by deep plowing on fallow fields, inter-row treatment of tilled cultures, and chemical weeding if necessary.

Reference citations:

Keller, B.A., ed. 1934. Weed plants of the USSR. V. 3. Leningrad: AN SSSR. 448 p. (in Russian).
Taliev, V.I. 1935. Keys to higher plants of the European part of the USSSR. Moscow: State Publishing House of Kolkhoz and Sovkhoz Literature, 648 p. (in Russian).

© Luneva N.N.

Picture of the author

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