Vicia benghalensis (Purple vetch)

Native to southern Europe, and in the Fabaceae family, purple vetch is a perennial legume that fixes nitrogen in the soil. It grows well in a variety of soils, though its drought tolerance is disputed. In Australia, it has long been grown for forage though in the US and Europe, it is mostly a green manure plant in the cool seasons. Studies reveal that interplanting purple vetch with Irish potatoes in Kenya, the second most common staple food crop, performs as well as synthetic fertilizers. Thus as a green manure, purple vetch is valuable for many farmers who cannot afford agrochemicals. This plant is also a cover crop in wheat and fodder production to improve soil.

Elizabeth Oriel 2022