Crown vetch properties

What is crown vetch?

Coronilla varia
Drawing of crown vetch (Coronilla varia)

Characteristics of crown vetch

Scientific noun: Coronilla varia L, Securigera varia

Common noun: Crown vetch, purple crown vetch

Family:Pea family – Papilionaceae

Habitat: Where does crown vetch grow?

In cultivated fields, grasslands, roads and gradients with a benign climate

Components: Corolinine, catartine

Active parts: The whole plant, but specially the flowers.

How is crown vetch like?

Coronilla varia is a herbaceous perennial rhizomatous plant of the Pea family – Papilionaceae up to 100cm.

It has glabrous stems, alternate leaves, pinnate with ovate leaflets.

Photo of crown vetch
Photo of crown vetch (Coronilla varia L. = Securigera varia)

Crown vetch flowers are white or pale pink flowers. They appear grouped in umbels till 1,5 cm.

The fruit is a pod.


Medicinal uses of crown vetch

Coronilla varia has been used as a diuretic and cardio-tonic. It has been used to increase urine in case of retention because of prostatic disease.

Also as a substitute of digitalis, in case of cardiac weakness.

Being so a dangerous plant, it is not advised to use it in homemade products!!!

Toxicity of crown vetch

Coronilla varia shows an extreme toxicity if flowers or fruits are ingested.

Side effects of crown vetch

Poisoning with this plant leads to the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Slow pulse and death.

Is crown vetch poisonous to animals?

Coronilla varia has proved to be toxic to animals, except to ruminants to whom this plant is considered as a good forage. So this plant can be used to feed cows, goats, sheep, giraffes, deers and other ruminants but it can not be used for rabbits, horses or other non-ruminant animals.

The reason for being good to ruminants is because the poisonous components are neutralized in the fermentation process that takes places in a specialized ruminant stomach before they are digested.

punto rojo More information about plants.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

30 November, 2020

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