200 views, August 8, 2013
Taken on June 23, 2012 at Moore’s Beach not far from Westmeath, Ontario, Canada
M, shutter speed 1/160, F/5.6, ISO 400, focal length 55mm.
Lorilee has sent me some information about this weed – very invasive, it seems. The information seems to be from the State of Indiana and relates to the identification and control of invasive species -… and here it is:
Crown vetch is from the Mediterranean region of Europe, northern Africa and southwest Asia. It was introduced to the United States in the 1950’s and was primarily used for erosion control. Its use for erosion control has greatly decreased in Indiana, given both its invasiveness and the availability of species that are much better at controlling erosion.
Crown vetch becomes a problem when it invades natural areas, such as native grassland prairies and dunes, where it works to exclude native vegetation by fully covering and shading those native plants. It can climb over small trees and shrubs, and eventually form large monocultures. It seeds prolifically, but can also rapidly spread by rhizome growth. Due to its nitrogen fixing capabilities, it has the capacity to adversely affect the nitrogen cycle of the native communities that may depend on infertile soils. It can also alter available fuel loads in fire-adapted ecosystems, changing fire intensity
Crown vetch is a perennial herb in the pea/legume family. It has spreading to diffuse, creeping stems that can reach two to six feet in length. The leaves are dark green, compound and bear fifteen to twenty-five leaflets. The seed pods are narrow, segmented, pointed, borne in crown-like clusters and may be two to three inches long. The pea-like, pinkish-white to deep pink flowers occur in clusters at the end of extended stalks and appear from late spring through summer. Crown vetch has a multi-branched root system and can spread by its strong rhizomes.