A robust annual of grassy places, including field-borders, roadsides and waste ground. Lowland.
Subsp. segetalis has long been grown as a fodder crop, but it is rarely cultivated now. It has not been systematically recorded, and the map is certainly incomplete; for example, all Dorset records have been ascribed to subsp. nigra. Nevertheless, it has become the most frequent of the V. sativa subspecies in our area.
Leaf: leaflets 5--7 mm wide, linear to generally lance-oblong, length 4--10 × width. Flower: calyx tube 4.5--5.5 mm, lobes 3--4.5 mm; corolla 10--18 mm, pink-purple to +- white. Fruit: black. Seed: 2.5--4 mm wide, spheric.
Ecology: Roadsides, disturbed areas, grassland, open areas in oak woodland, riparian woodland; Elevation: < 1608 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, NCoRI, n&c SNF, GV, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo, ChI, PR; Distribution Outside California: to southeastern United States; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
How to get rid of:
Control common vetch with a post-emergent two-, three-, and four-way broadleaf herbicide. Herbicides containing triclopyr and clopyralid, as well as fluroxypyr products are efficient herbicide controls.