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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)


Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca) -
(Click on the photos or links to enlarge)

(Cow Vetch - 05)  The purple colored wildflowers in this God-created living bouquet are two kinds of vetch, cow and hairy.  During the last few years, we hardly saw any due to excessive roadside mowing, but this year the vetch had re-established itself further back in the field.

 

 

 

(Cow Vetch - 01)  Each of the downward growing flowers on this cow vetch raceme is only about 1 centimeter long.  Cow vetch is a member of the Pea family, a legume, because it has nitrogen-fixing bacteria on its roots, which not only fertilize itself, but the other plants around it.

 

 

 

(Cow Vetch - 01a)  The tiny leaves of this cow vetch look unusual.  The leaves seem to grow sideways along the stem.  The leaves normally grow upwardly and outwardly from the stem in alternating groups of 8-12 pinnate leaves.

 

 

(Cow Vetch - 01b) Obviously, we weren't the only ones who were enjoying the cow vetch.  This beetle came for lunch.

 

 

 

(Cow Vetch - 02)  Another interesting aspect of the cow vetch is the way the flowers project their pistils from the maturing but still unopened buds.  At a casual glance, it looks like another flower growing from within the cow vetch bud.

 

 

 

(Cow Vetch - 03)  As the cow vetch flowers mature, their deep violet color fades to a pinkish color.  Our little beetle friend posed for this picture, too, which has been enlarged about 20 times the actual size when viewed in the full screen version.

 

 

 

 

 

(Cow Vetch - 04)  We can see the stamens in the cow vetch flower on the right.  The name cow vetch originated because this wildflower was used as a pasture forage crop.

 

 

 

| Wild Flowers of SHL | Art and Photos |

If  you would like to contribute a photo to these series, please contact;
Frank L. Hoffman flh@all-creatures.org

Your Comments are Welcome:

2001-2002 - The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.  All rights reserved.  May be copied only for personal use or by not for profit organizations to promote compassionate and responsible living.  All copied and reprinted material must contain proper credits and web site link www.all-creatures.org .


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