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Securigera varia

Securigera varia (L.) Lassen

Coronilla varia L.

Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusSecurigeraLatin for “armed with axe,” referring to the shape of the fruit
SpeciesvariaDiverse, differing

About plant names...

Crown vetch is native to Africa, Asia, and Europe, and is now naturalized in North America. It is often planted on slopes to limit erosion, although studies suggest that it isn’t especially successful at this. In some areas crown vetch is invasive, overcoming native grassland prairies. In appears on roadsides, abandoned fields, and forest edges.

Plants: Plants are perennial vines that form dense mats. Plants are up to 12" (30 cm) in height, sometimes much higher when they climb over other plants. Stems are angular and mostly hairless, 12-79" (30-200 cm) long.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, 1½-6" (4-16 cm) long. Each leaf is odd pinnate, comprised of 7-25 leaflets that end abruptly in a short, stiff point. The leaflets are sessile and oblong to ovate.

Flowers: Forms umbels of 10-25 pink and white fragrant flowers. Flowers may also be pure white or blue to purple. Each umbel is on a peduncle 1¾-6" (5-15 cm) long. (A peduncle is the part of a flower stalk before it first branches out to support the flowers.)

Fruits: The fruits are legumes—beanlike seed pods—with 3-12 segments, ¾-3" (2-8 cm) long. Each segment contains a single brown seed.

Edibility: Not edible for people. Some animals eat crown vetch. It can be toxic to horses in large quantities.

Online References:

Securigera varia on climbers.lsa.umich.edu

Securigera varia at Illinois Wildflowers

Securigera varia at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Securigera varia at the Bugwood Wiki

Securigera varia on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/19/2011 · NJ
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/2/2017 · Wildlife Pond, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/26/2015 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 6" (18 × 16 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/5/2009 · MacDonald-Zachos‘, Milford, PA
≈ 15 × 10" (38 × 25 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/14/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/20/2016 · Wildlife Pond Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Securigera varia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 3 Jul 2017.

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Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/20/2016 · Wildlife Pond Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/2/2010 · Stansbury Mill Rd, Phoenix, MD
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/11/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near NH Line, Dunstable, MA
≈ 10 × 7" (26 × 17 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/11/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near NH Line, Dunstable, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/27/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/19/2011 · NJ
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/20/2016 · Wildlife Pond Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/2/2017 · Wildlife Pond, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 5 × 4" (13 × 11 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/20/2016 · Wildlife Pond Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

6/13/2011 · Great Falls State Park, Washington, DC
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/17/2012 · Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Wildlife Pond Trail, Hollis, NH
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Securigera varia (Crown Vetch, Trailing Crown-vetch, Axseed, Purple Crownvetch, Axwort, Field Crownvetch)

7/17/2012 · Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Wildlife Pond Trail, Hollis, NH
≈ 4 × 3" (10 × 8 cm)

Range:

About this map...