TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.-->

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1
Fruit: legume, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.



Duane Isely

Annual or perennial herb, unarmed
Stem generally sprawling or climbing, ridged or angled
Leaves even-1-pinnate; stipules with an upper (often toothed or lobed) and smaller lower segment; leaflets 4–many, alternate to opposite (often on 1 plant), linear to ovate; main leaf axis generally ending as a tendril
Inflorescence: raceme or cluster, axillary; peduncle or pedicels present; bracts small or 0
Flower: corolla generally lavender to purple, sometimes white or yellow; 9 filaments fused, 1 free; style generally round in X -section, hairs tufted at tip
Fruit dehiscent, generally ± oblong, generally flat; base stalk-like or not
Seeds 2 or more
Species in genus: ± 130 species: North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Latin: vetch)
Reference: [Herman 1960 USDA Handb 168]
Best separated from Lathyrus by style characters.


V. villosa Roth


Annual, puberulent-strigose or hairy
Stem sprawling, ascending, or climbing
Leaf: leaflets 12–18, 1–2.5 cm, narrowly oblong to elliptic, tip rounded, 1-toothed
Inflorescence generally > subtending leaf; flowers generally > 9, generally crowded, sometimes spaced, generally on 1 side of axis
Flower: calyx obliquely attached, lopsided-swollen at base, lower lobes lanceolate to wispy; corolla 1–1.8 cm, length when pressed 4–6 X width, violet-purple or lavender to white
Fruit 1.5–4 cm, 6–10 mm wide, widely oblong or elliptic, glabrous; stalk-like base 2–3 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Sporadic, locally abundant. Roadsides, fields, urban waste areas
Elevation: especially < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to US; native to Europe
Important green manure, cover crop.


subsp. villosa

At least upper stems and leaves with conspicuous, 1–2 mm hairs
Inflorescence generally > 19-flowered, dense
Flower: lower calyx lobes 2–4 mm, thread-like or wispy, often curved; corolla 1.4–1.8 cm
Ecology: Habitats, elevation, range of sp
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for VICIA%20villosa%20subsp.%20villosa being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Vicia villosa subsp. villosa
Retrieve dichotomous key for Vicia
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions
Return to treatment index page
University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page | Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California