Vicia villosa Roth f. albiflora (Schur) Gams.

Woolly Vetch (white form)

Vicia villosa plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems - Sprawling to clambering or climbing (by means of tendrils on leaves), herbaceous, from taproot, villous, carinate to angled.

Leaves - Alternate, even-pinnate, stipulate, to +13cm long, with +/-10 pairs of leaflets, terminating with a branched tendril. Stipules foliaceous, lance-ovate, to +/-1cm long, villous. Leaflets alternate to subopposite, on short petiolules, linear-oblong to linear-lanceolate, mucronate, entire, to +2cm long, +/-6mm broad, dense pubescent.

Vicia villosa leaf

Inflorescence - Pedunculate spiciform axillary raceme to +/-7cm long. Flowers secund. Peduncle to +/-6cm long, carinate, villous. Flowers nodding. Pedicels to 2mm long, connected to lower portion of calyx tube.

Flowers - Corolla white, papilionaceous, glabrous. Standard to 1.3cm long, 7mm broad at apex, notched. Wing petals adhering to keel petals. Stamens 10, diadelphous, to 1cm long, glabrous. Style upcurved, pubescent at apex. Ovary compressed, green, glabrous, 6-7mm long, on short gynophore. Calyx tube to 3mm long, villous below(sparse above), bilabiate. Upper lip reduced, with two shallow lobes. Lobes to 1mm long, acuminate. Lower lip 3-lobed. Lateral two lobes to 4mm long, -1mm broad. Central lobe to 6mm long, -1mm broad, villous. Fruit compressed, to 3cm long, 1cm broad, pubescent, few seeded.

Vicia villosa flowers

Flowering - April - October.

Habitat - Railroads.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - The plant pictured above was the first finding of V. villosa f. albiflora in Missouri. It was found in Swope Park in Jackson County by some railroad tracks. Typical V. villosa has blue-purple flowers and is very common. The species is an introduced weed and is very aggressive.
Here is a pic of both forms of the plant growing side by side:

Vicia villosa flower

Photographs taken in Swope Park, Jackson County, MO., 5-13-00.