Bird Vetch, also known as Cow Vetch, is similar to a pea in its growth habit, sending out tendrils from the tips of its leaves when it contacts another plant and securely fastening itself. Individual plants may reach a 6' long and have a taproot that extends up to 3'. The leaves are 1-3" long, pinnate, with 8-12 pairs of leaflets. The plant is fast-growing and flowers prolifically, sending out cascading pea-flower shaped purple to violet flowers. The flowers are replaced by tiny bright green seed pods. The seed pods are less than 1" long and like the flowers strongly resemble those of a very small pea. The seed pods vary from light brown to dark brown with black spots when they are ripe. Blooming Time: Late July. This plant was introduced to Alaska and is considered an invasive species because it strangles out other endemic species.