The Weed Warrior: Tufted Vetch really wants to move in

Tufted Vetch, aka Bird Vetch, is a weed that is trying to establish itself locally, including on my acreage.

It has long weak stems that spread a mat of leafless stems, leafy branches and leafless flowering branches across the ground, or climb- using the tendrils at the end of each leafy branch.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the leaves of Tufted Vetch grow in 8-12 alternate pairs along opposite sides of some branches that grow in a spiral from the leafless stems; its bluish-purple flowers grow in groups of up to 30 along one side of the remaining leafless branches; and, Tufted Vetch’s flattened brown pea-like seedpods contain up to eight rounded seeds — each marked with a long white or reddish-brown scar.

It can spread by seed or root nodes.

The Canadian Encyclopedia says there are about 150 species of Vetch in the world, three native to Canada and nine foreign species have been brought here, including ones like Tufted Vetch that some provinces consider to be significant weeds because they are not adapted well enough to our climate to make good livestock or wildlife forage, even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers Tufted Vetch to be highly palatable browse.

Ontario calls it a weed; Alberta considers Tufted Vetch an invasive species; Saskatchewan is observing Tufted Vetch but is not concerned yet; the B.C. Government considers Tufted Vetch to be an exotic species;

My hobby farmer friend, Ken Miller, thinks it is a noxious weed. What is your opinion of Tufted (Bird) Vetch?

I control it on my property, by gathering and garbage bagging all the flowers and most of the stems and leaves, then spraying a broadleaf herbicide, like Killex, on the remaining leaves and stems, to kill them and the roots.

Remember to wear protective gloves when handling weeds. Some of them have toxins.

Weed Warrior Frank

Just Posted

Treasured memento survives wildfires

Memorial plaque found by fishermen in East Kootenay backcountry

Jason Simon-Cumming running for Council

Jason (Jay) Simon-Cumming is running for Kimberley City Council with hopes of… Continue reading

News from the Kimberley Garden Club

Marilee Quist I always get a little nostalgic at this time of… Continue reading

All candidates forum at McKim

Forum to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Kimberley scouts bag 1500 sandbags for fundraising initiative

On Saturday September 22, the local Scouting Groups, accompanied with parents and… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Most Read