Perennial which reproduces by seed and vegetatively by underground rhizomes. Multiple, branching vine-like stems have small tendrils and alternate, pinnately-compound leaves with 8 to 10 leaflets. Bilaterally symmetrical purple flowers are arranged on a one-sided spike. Flowering occurs from spring to late fall. Seeds contained in inch-long, brown, lance-shaped pods.
Bird vetch aggressively climbs fencing, trees, bushes, and other vegetation, monopolizing sunlight, space, and moisture.
Found all over the Fairbanks area. Look for bird vetch in disturbed areas including roadsides, trails, and hay fields.
Visit the 'programs & projects' page to learn more about VETCH BUSTERS - a new program for neighborhoods to battle bird vetch with support from the Fairbanks CWMA.