This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Vicia Cracca L. Sp. Pl. 735. 1753.
Perennial, finely pubescent or sometimes glabrate, stems tufted, slender, weak, climbing or trailing, 2°-4° long. Stipules linear, acute, entire, 1"-4" long; leaves nearly sessile; leaflets 8-24, thin, linear or linear-oblong, obtuse or acutish, mucronate, 8"-10" long, 1V-2" wide; peduncles axillary, shorter than or equalling the leaves; spike-like racemes dense, secund, 1-4' long; flowers bluish-purple, sometimes white, 5"-6" long, reflexed; pod short-stalked, glabrous, 9"-12" long, about 3" wide, 5-8-seeded.
In dry soil, Newfoundland to British Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Iowa and Washington. Also in Europe and Asia. Tinegrass. Cat-peas. Canada-pea. June-Aug.
Vicia villòsa Roth, is a similar Old World species, but villous-pubescent, annual or biennial in duration, and with larger flowers, locally spontaneous after cultivation for fodder.
Perennial, glabrous or with some appressed pubescence, trailing or climbing, 2°-3° long. Leaves nearly sessile; stipules broad, foliaceous, triangular-ovate, sharply toothed, 2"-5" long; leaflets 8-14, elliptic, ovate or oblong, obtuse or sometimes emar-ginate and mucronulate at the apex, rounded at the base, 8"-18" long, 3"-7" wide; peduncles usually shorter than the leaves; racemes loose, 2-9-flowered; flowers bluish-purple, 8"-9" long, spreading; pod short-stalked, glabrous, 1'-1 1/4' long, 4-7-seeded.
In moist ground, New Brunswick to Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia, New York, Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona. Leaflets of lower leaves sometimes narrow. Ascends to 3500 ft. in Virginia. May-Aug. Buffalo-pea.
Vicia oregàna Nutt. (V. truncata Nutt.), with obovate or oblong leaflets truncate and dentate at the apex, widely distributed in western North America, enters our area in Kansas and Nebraska.
Vicia sparsifolia Nutt.; T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1: 270. 1838. Lathyrus linearis Nutt.; T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1: 276. 1838. Vicia americana var. linearis S. Wats. Proc. Am. 11: 134.
1876. Vicia linearis Greene, Fl. Francis. 3. 1891.
Perennial, glabrous or nearly so, stems weak, often zigzag, 1°-2° long. Leaflets 4-7 pairs, narrowly linear to linear-oblong. 9"-18" long, ¥'-2" wide, rather thick, acute or obtusish, the apex not toothed, mucronate; stipules 2"-4" long, half-sagittate, acuminate, their bases prolonged, sometimes dentate; peduncles shorter than the leaves, or about equalling them; racemes loose, 2-6-flowered; flowers purple or purplish, about 9" long; pod about 1' long, 3" wide or rather more, glabrous, short-stalked.
In dry soil, Manitoba to British Columbia, South Dakota, Kansas, New Mexico and California. Perhaps a narrow-leaved race of V. americana. May-Aug.