Cracca exigua Alef.
Cracca ludoviciana Alef.
Cracca tridentata Alef.
Ervum pilosum Alef.
Ervum tridentatum Alef.
Vicia caroliniana texana Torr. & A.Gray
Vicia exigua Torr. & A.Gray
Vicia leavenworthii Torr. & A.Gray
Vicia producta Rydb.
Vicia texana (Torr. & A.Gray) Small
Vicia thurberi S.Watson
Vicia ludoviciana is a variable, annual plant with climbing stems 10 - 100cm long; these scramble over the ground, attaching themselves to surrounding vegetation by means of tendrils[
The plant is sometimes grown as a green manure in the USA[
The seeds contain the anti-nutritional compound L-canavanine, a competitive inhibitor of arginine decarboxylase. This is removed by soaking the seeds in water prior to cooking and discarding the soak water.
N. America - Oregon to California and northern Mexico, east to Missouri, Texas and Alabama
Rocky, clayey or occasionally sandy prairies, open woods and roadsides in Texas[
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Vicia ludoviciana is native to temperate regions with mild winters. It germinates in the autumn, growing through the cool season and flowering in the spring and early summer[
Species in this genus generally succeed in any well-drained soil in a sunny position if the soil is reliably moist throughout the growing season, otherwise they are best grown in semi-shade[
]. Prefers a medium to heavy textured soil[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
A valuable plant of natural pastures, it is also sucessfully cultivated as a green manure plant to improve natural grassland in the USA[
Seed - sow in situ around 3 - 6mm deep. Untreated seed has a germination rate of around 50% in its first year, this can be increased to around 90% by scarifying the seed[
]. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.