Silvery Blue – Glaucopsyche lygdamus
My home and garden are situated next to an open meadow; and within that meadow grows lots and lots of vetch! The vetch also shows up at the edges of my cultivated areas, but early on, while the plants are still small I pull some of it. There are two species of vetch commonly seen along roadsides, fields and idle lands; Hairy or Winter Vetch (Vicia villosa), and Spring or Common Vetch (Vicia sativa). Both species are native to Europe, and were brought to this country to be used as a rotation crop in fields; but both have since escaped into wild lands.
On my land it’s mostly Winter Vetch that shows up at the wilder edges, and grows so quickly, draping itself over nearby plants, that without some control it can easily obscure established shrubs. It is an annual plant with stems reaching six feet or more. I pull much of it out of garden areas long before flowers set fruit; there can be ten to fifteen flowers per stem; and about four to six seeds per pod; and those seeds have a very hard coat and can persist in the soil in a dormant state for years.