Hairy Vetch Sneaks Up On You

One day I was weeding our path from the front gate to the back gate. We made this path with crushed sand. It’s finer than decomposed granite. I’ve noticed that it’s similar enough to a litter box that all the neighborhood cats use it as their luxury bathroom. But I digress. Weeds also grow in this sand (yes, even though overlapping weed block was used) because some weeds don’t need anything to grow.

Well, one day I noticed a new weed. It has a pretty purple flower. Here’s a photo of one that I picked. I am holding it up to a rock to get a good photo for you. Don’t mind my glove.

Hairy Vetch

I looked it up and it turns out this is Hairy Vetch, or vicia vellosa. It’s also known as “sand vetch”, which obviously doesn’t surprise me.

So then I am thinking to myself, where in the world did this come from? I have never seen this weed before, especially not on our property. Then, I looked over the fence. I saw an entire hill of these weeds. it had spread from a ways away, and just this spring spread across what looks like a half acre!

Hill of hairy vetch

This is an invasive species and spreads quickly. We had none of this plant on our property last year, and now an entire hill is covered. There pretty, but they definitely can grow anywhere. I pull them out from the root easily as they grow shallowly.

Keep an eye out – if you see one, soon there will be many.

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