purple crown-vetch
Securigera varia (L.) Lassen


Securigera varia is a low-growing, herbaceous vine that usually forms thickets up to 3 ft. (0.9 m) in height.
The leaves are dark green pinnately compound with 9 to 25 pairs of leaflets and a terminal leaflet. Leaflets are 0.75 in. (1.9 cm) long.
Flowering occurs in the summer. The pea-like, fragrant flowers are white to pink to purple and resemble a large clover flower because they are found in long-stalked clusters.
Seed pods are segmented, pointed, borne in crown-like clusters. The straw colored seeds are less than 0.3 in. (0.9 cm) long, round, flat, and winged.
Ecological Threat
Securigera varia reproduces and spreads rapidly by rhizomes as well as seeds. It forms dense thickets in open, disturbed areas such as fields and roadsides. Once established it is difficult to remove. Securigera varia is native to Europe, Asia and Africa. It was first introduced into North America around the 1950s and has been widely planted for erosion control.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Securigera
Subject: Securigera varia (L.) Lassen

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
purple crownvetch, trailing crown vetch

Related Scientific Names:
Coronilla varia (L.) Lassen (Synonym)


Plants - Forbs/Herbs