Fabaceae, the pea, bean or legume family.
Plant: Climbing vine, to 4' with spikes of pink to violet pea-like flowers.
Flowers: Pink, violet or blue, tubular, pea-like, about 1/2", on crowded, long-stalked spike.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, generally 8-12 pairs of pointed narrowly ovate to lanceolate leaflets each 1/2". Leaves with tendrils on the ends.
Fruit: A narrow pod
Habitat: Fields, roadsides,
This is a European import, one of several similar vetches in the area.
Various vetches are sometimes grown as cover crops and to reduce erosion;
like other legumes, they harbor nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Where to find it:
Scattered in richer field areas throughout the park.