Department of Natural Resources
crown vetch Coronilla varia
vetch is a low-growing, herbaceous perennial native to Europe,
Asia and northern Africa. It was introduced into this country in the 1950s
for erosion control purposes. The leaves are dark green and pinnately-compound.
The small, pink-white flowers are borne in upright clover-like clusters
from June to August. Crown vetch is a prolific seeder and readily invades
prairie and other open communities where it forms a dense blanket of vegetation
that smothers out native plants. Crown vetch grows statewide in Illinois
and currently threatens the survival of one of the rarest plants in Illinois.
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