Is Common Vetch Edible? Learn All Fascinating Facts to Eat!

Green leaves and tendrils with bright purple flowers peeping from the bush, common vetch definitely have a look that will attract you. The easy-growing plants have the looks and various usefulness that will pique your interest to grow this plant in your garden. Even in the past, people have used vetch in their food.

But the real question we will ask is,  is common vetch edible? Yes, it is edible, but in a small amount only. Common vetch is not edible on a large scale. This plant is full of fascinating plans as well.

But more questions remain unanswered. Is common fetch a kind of pea? Where do you grow it, and how toxic will it be? So, let’s dig into it and find out all the answers.

Is Common Vetch Edible?

The question is a bit tricky as common vetch contains some toxic elements. Common vetch is not edible on a large scale. But if you want to include a small number of peas or young shoots, you can use them in your salad. 

Also, it is safe to eat if you boil them for a long time, the toxins will die down, and they can be considered edible vegetables. The green peas of common vetch taste like other vegetable peas, and the leaves test a little bit grassy like spinach.

Where Does Common Vetch Grow?

Common vetch is an adorable wild plant that grows in wetlands, meadows or even at the edge of woodlands. Vetch is the native plant of Europe. However, you will find these vines in North America and some parts of Southeast Asia. 

If you want to grow common vetch, it is easy to plant and take care of them. Vetch grows like bushes and rises up to your knees. If you plant them near your fence, they will climb a little but not too high.

Is Common Vetch A Member Of The Pea Family?

Though only from the name you cannot determine if common vetch is a member of the pea family or not, its look gives it off. Common vetch is a member of the vast pea family and holds a strong resemblance to other peas like vegetable peas, beans or lentils. 

They have similar pods, tendrils and vine-like structures as the symbol of the pea family. You’ll be able to classify them at the first look.

Is Common Vetch Poisonous? 

Yes, common vetch can be poisonous. They contain various types of toxic elements, including cyanogens and amino acids. If you consume a little amount of common vetch, it will not harm you. 

But if the quantity reaches more than 10% of your diet, it can be e dangerous for your health. Also, animals that graze on the vetch vines can get sick because of the vetch poisoning.

What Is Vetch Poisoning?

Vetch poisoning is the effect on an animal that over-grazes the vetch vines. As a result, they will develop a life-threatening condition called systemic granulomatous disease (SGD) or equine sarcoidosis (ES).

Because of the bitter taste of the vetch vines, it is not popular among animals. But under specific circumstances, hungry animals that travel through the forest will consume it. As these plants don’t contain the necessary nutrients needed, they will feel weak. 

Because of the abnormally high amount of selenium present in the vine, they will show symptoms like loss of appetite, anxiety, fever or conjunctivitis. The chronic consumption of the plant might also show extreme symptoms like organ failure, inflammation, and exfoliation dermatitis and gradually leads to death.

How To Remove Toxins From Common Vetch?

As common vetch contains different types of toxic elements, it is risky to consume them recklessly. However, many people suggest that boiling the seeds will subdue the toxin in them.

The procedure is very simple. You can boil the seeds for two hours or pressure cook them for more than 20 minutes if you want to be safe and enjoy the taste of this. That will simply remove toxins from common vetch.

Is Common Vetch Useful For Gardening? 

Yes, common vetch is useful for gardening. It has multiple features that can be helpful in different fields. One of them is the ability to produce their own nitrogen. Farmers can use this plant as a cover crop to prepare the soil before the plantation season. The nitrogen can be used as fertilizer for the next crop.

With the help of the symbiotic relationship with rhizobium bacteria, vetch roots convert gaseous nitrogen into a water-soluble form that enriches the soil and makes it more fertile. Apart from the ornamental quality of common vetch, it is popular among farmers because of its fertilizing properties.

Can I Use Common Vetch Flowers For Beautification? 

Yes. Common vetch is one of the most beautiful and vibrant flowers that will enhance the beauty of your garden. You can use the visual of this bright purple flower to highlight and make your landscape more attractive. 

You can plant common vetch with wildflowers or alone. They will create a pretty colour scheme that will soothe your eyes in both cases.

How To Plant Common Vetch Vines? 

If you want a voluminous growth, planting vetch seeds in spring or fall will be the most beneficial. Here is how you plant it.

  • Soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting to help them germinate rapidly. 
  • After soaking them, put them into loosely packed soil and sprinkle water on them so that they can have enough water and space to sprout.
  • The vines don’t usually climb up high and spread near the ground. So, if you want to grow them vertically, you might need to tie the young vines with a supporting stick. Learn more

And just like that, common vetch is planted.

Is Taking Care Of Common Vetch Difficult? 

No, taking care of common vetch is not difficult at all. On the other hand, planting and taking care of common vetch is quite easy. The plant has profound growth and typically withstands rough weather. 

If you plant common vetch in fertile land and rely on the rainwater, they will grow at a moderate rate. However, you need to water them if the soil stays dry for a while.

Final Thoughts

The history of common which a and humans go way back. For a long time, vetch plants have been used to prepare the soil and flowers to make beautiful decorations. However, their pea-like seeds have made people wonder ‘is common vetch edible?’ Even people have eaten them occasionally with salad too. 

As time passed, people discovered much about these plants and their effects. Learning about those facts can definitely give you an upper hand in dealing with this plant. Then, enjoy your time. Happy gardening!

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