May 23, 2020
If you've walked through any fields lately, you've almost certainly seen this plant and its small violet flowers. This is common vetch (Vicia sativa), which belongs to the legume family (Fabaceae) alongside peanuts, soybeans, peas and many others.
People often grow common vetch as a livestock fodder, and horses and cattle prefer it over grasses or clover. Livestock aren't the only ones to get in on the action; humans can eat common vetch, too! The young shoots can be cooked and taste a bit like spinach or collard greens, and the seeds inside the seed pods can be eaten fresh like peas, left to dry on the vine and used like dry beans, or even dried and ground into a type of flour! #BenInNature
About this post: Social distancing can be difficult, but the next few weeks present a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. While he is working from home, Administrator of Science Ben Williams is venturing outdoors each day to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world.
This post brought to you by VMNH Corporate Supporter Bassett Furniture.
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!