Vicia purpurascens DC.
Vicia striata M.Bieb.
Common Name: Hungarian Vetch
Flowering stem of subspecies striata, growing in semi-dry grassland at Wartberg near Ulrichskirchen, Lower Austria
Photograph by: Stefan.lefnaer
Vicia pannonica is an annual climbing plant growing 40 - 60cm tall, occasionally to 100cm. The erect to ascending stems are 2 - 4 branched from the base; they often scramble over the ground, climbing into surrounding vegetation where they attach themselves by means of tendrils[
The plant is cultivated as a green manure.
Although reportedly uncommon, Vicia pannonica is a widespread, stable species with no apparent threats. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2016)[
The plant is a noxious weed in cereal crops[
S. Europe - France and Spain, east to Ukraine, Greece and Bulgaria; W. Asia - Turkey, Caucasus, Iran
Cultivated and fallow fields and roadsides; at elevations from sea level to 2,000 metres in Turkey[418,1128].
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Vicia pannonica is a plant of the temperate zone, often found in semi-arid regions, growing at elevations up to 1,300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 10 - 17°c, but can tolerate 4 - 22°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -18°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 50 - 700mm, but tolerates 350 - 1,030mm[
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 pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4.9 - 8.2[
As a minor forage crop grown in W, central and SE Europe, also in the Near Eastern countries; in S Europe mainly for seed production, otherwise for green or dry forage and as pasture plant. Also cultivated for similar purposes in the Pacific North-west of the USA, here also for green manuring. Rarely grown elsewhere. The species is important because of its winter-hardiness and drought-tolerance. It was sown often mixed with winter cultivars of cereals. The cultivation was firstly recommended by French and German breeding firms in the second half of the 19th cent. The cultivars belong to subsp. Pannonica, but subsp. Striata has more recently introduced into breeding and cultivation trials, too[
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[
The plant is grown as a green manure crop[
]. Used especially in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, where it is valued because of its winter-hardiness and drought-tolerance as well as its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen[
Vicia pannonica belongs to Taxon Group 1B of cultivated V. pannonica and is also a tertiary wild relative of Narbon Bean V. narbonensis L. and Common Vetch V. sativa L. and more remotely a number of other cultivated vetches including Faba Bean V. faba L., Articulated Vetch V. articulata Hornem., Bitter Vetch V. ervilia (L.) Willd. and Winter Vetch V. villosa Roth. (Maxted 1995, Maxted and Douglas 1996). As a result, it has the potential for use as a gene donor for crop improvement[
Seed - sow in situ in spring or autumn. The seed has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. 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.