Wildflower Lagniappe: Winter Vetch

Larry Lynch East Texas , Fauna , Flora Leave a Comment

Our side-yard is a half-acre and includes a burn-pile (LOTS of fall leaves around here as well as limb-trimmings), our aerobic heads, several pines and sweetgums, and little surprises like the ones shown here. With woods and pastures all around, we get blown-in seeds every year. Some are immediately pulled or poisoned (crabgrass, nutsedge, dandelion) but others are welcome additions to the landscape. “Winter vetch” (Vicia villosa) popped up this year, and I hope it will become a regular. Introduced from Europe as a rotation crop to replenish nitrogen in the soil, it has made itself at home in East Texas and brightened a corner of our yard that’s beyond the sprinkler heads. [The insect you see drinking nectar is not a bee. It appears to be a “Cicada Killer” (Sphecius speciosus) wasp. Since the cicada’s aren’t out yet, it’s making do with a sugar snack.]

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Larry Lynch

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