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Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca)



milk-producing, poisonous

Areas of application:

stimulates milk production - as a galactagogue

Parts of the plant used:

leaves, flowers

Collection time:

June to August

Can be found:

In meadows, roadsides and forest clearings.


Hydrocyanic acid compounds, alkaloids, tannins


The Tufted Vetch is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches a height of 30 to 120 centimeters. The pinnate leaves have eight to twelve pairs of leaflets and a branched tendril at the top. The leaflets are narrow and elongated, about 1 centimeter long and 2 to 6 millimeters wide. The flowering period is from June to August. In the often one-sided, racemose inflorescences, 10 to 40 flowers are closely packed together. The inflorescence stalks are approximately the length of the bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic and five-petaled with a double perianth, with a height of 8 to 12 millimeters. The five petals are blue-violet to purple. The legumes are up to 25 millimeters long. The seeds are rich in protein, spherical, up to 3 mm thick and weigh 9 to 16 mg. (Wikipedia)

🛑 The raw flowers and leaves are poisonous to humans due to the hydrogen cyanide compounds! However, the toxins are heat-unstable.

In the kitchen, the flowers and leaves can be eaten cooked. Tufted Vetch has been used as food since ancient times. The flowers can be prepared as fried vegetables. The leaves and young shoots and pods, as well as the seeds when ripe, are suitable as cooking vegetables. They should be cooked for about 10 minutes. The leaves and flowers can also be dried for tea.

Can be used as green manure. A dynamic accumulator that absorbs minerals or nutrients from the soil and stores them in a more bioavailable form - used as fertilizer or to improve mulch.

With the help of root nodules containing symbiotic bacteria, the Tufted Vetch is able to bind nitrogen from the air.

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