Leaves. - Divided into twenty to twenty-four leaflets, with slender tips. Flowers. - Papilionaceous, blue turning purple, growing in close, many-flowered, one-sided spikes.
This is an emigrant from Europe which is found in some of our eastern fields and thickets as far south as New Jersey. It usually climbs more or less by means of the tendril at the tip of its divided leaves, and sometimes forms bright patches of vivid blue over the meadows.
Another member of this genus is V. saliva, the common vetch or tare, with purplish or pinkish flowers, growing singly or in pairs from the axils of the leaves, which leaves are divided into fewer and narrower leaflets than those of the blue vetch. This species also takes possession of cultivated fields as well as of waste places along the roadside.