Vicia caroliniana Walt.

Vicia caroliniana plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems - Erect, hollow, herbaceous, antrorse pubescent, slightly winged from decurrent leaf tissue, multiple from base, branching.

Leaves - Alternate, stipulate, even-pinnate. Stipules narrowly ovate, to 7mm long, 3mm broad, acute, antrorse pubescent. Leaflets alternate, short petiolulate (petiolules to 1mm long), linear-oblong to narrowly ovate, blunt to emarginate at apex, to 1.5cm long, 6mm broad, entire, rounded at the base, mostly glabrous above except at base, antrorse pubescent below. Terminal tendril branching, pilose.

Vicia caroliniana leaf

Inflorescence - Axillary peduncullate racemes to 8cm long. Rachis pilose. Pedicels to 1mm long. Flowers secund, +/-14 per raceme.

Vicia caroliniana plant

Flowers - Corolla pale pink, 7-8mm long, 4-5mm broad, glabrous. Wings and keel petals adnate. Keel petals apically fused, with purple spots at apex. Stamens diadelphous. Anthers yellow-orange, .3mm long. Ovary green, glabrous, 3.5mm long, slightly compressed. Style upcurved, 1.1mm long, glabrous. Fruit highly compressed, 4-5mm broad, 2cm long, glabrous. Calyx weakly bilabiate, 2mm long, pilose (especially in ventral 1/2). Bottom lip 3-toothed. Teeth triangular, .7mm long. Upper lip shallowly 2-lobed.

Vicia caroliniana flowers

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Acid soils on rocky slopes, rocky woods, ridges, streambanks.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is a small plant which is common in the Ozark region of Missouri. This plant is smaller and erect than most other members of the genus in the state. Because the flowers are small, the plant is frequently overlooked.

Photographs taken at Big Spring State Park, Carter County, MO., 4-16-01.