Vetch Crown Coronilla Varia is an herbaceous perennial vine that is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. Crown Vetch seeds can be planted outdoors in spring, summer, and fall. Also known as Trailing Crown-vetch, Crownvetch, Purple Crown Vetch, and Securigera Varia this perennial grows very fast forming sprawling mats of dense billowy, green foliage and growing up to twenty inches tall. The masses of pea-like flowers range in color white to pink or purple clustering atop the green foliage and blooming from June until frost. Coronilla Varia has a branched, fibrous root system, and its rhizomes can extend up to 10 feet, so an individual plant can cover 70 to 100 square feet within four years.
Crown Vetch is one of the easiest, fastest, and economical groundcovers to cover bare ground, and this trailing vine can be often found growing along the side or center divider of highways, particularly on steep banks or slopes. Crown Vetch is a very effective way to prevent soil erosion, choke out weeds, and beautify the landscape with minimal effort or cost, but it must be noted that Crown Vetch is invasive, so it can displace native plant species from their habitats. Coronilla Varia seeds are fairly slow to germinate; therefore, if they are planted directly outside at the end of summer or early fall, the seeds have to be planted 10 weeks before first hard frost date for successful establishment. The established Purple Crown Vetch tolerates drought, poor soil, and it even alters native ecosystems through nitrogen fixation, enhancing soil fertility.