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Crown Vetch

Coronilla varia

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Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia) at Dutch Growers Garden Centre

Crown Vetch flowers

Crown Vetch flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia) at Dutch Growers Garden Centre

Crown Vetch in bloom

Crown Vetch in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2b


A vigorous spreading and drought tolerant vine that features small clusters of rosy-pink pea-like flowers; tough and aggressive, good for groundcover; cool season perennial; cut back to maintain tidy habit

Ornamental Features

Crown Vetch has masses of beautiful rose pea-like flowers at the ends of the stems from early summer to late fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its compound leaves remain green in colour throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Crown Vetch is a dense herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading
  • Invasive

Crown Vetch is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Crown Vetch will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Ornamental Features